Note: Hiya, people! :) Okay, this is my first story in the Harry Potter category! I love the books! Though, I am kind of sad that Harry ended up with Ginny in the end. I have always rooted for him to end up with Hermione. I think they are perfect for each other! ;) But anyway, this story was inspired while I was listening to the song: Beautiful by Nick Lachey.
I hope you like it! On with it...
"Don't ever let the mirror tell you lies. Just look at your reflection through my eyes."
-Nick Lachey: Beautiful-
Madam Pince glanced up irritatingly at the soft giggling that sounded throughout the silent library. Four girls—two Slytherins and two Ravenclaws—were huddled up in the corner, talking in hushed voices and giggling like crazy.
The librarian looked back at her own book, sighing. How annoying...
Aside from the four girls and the librarian, a solitary figure sat on a wide table beside the huge window. Hermione Granger sighed, annoyed as another fit of giggles erupted two tables away behind her.
Glancing out of the window and into the vast lands that covered the perimeter of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she willed herself to ignore the girls behind her and focus on her N.E.W.T.s notes in front of her. The exam was a few weeks away and Hermione did not want to fail.
Looking back at her notes and continuing her reading, one voice rang high purposely and reached her ears.
"It's not true, is it?"
Hermione did not recognize the voice, but she thought it may have been to one of the Ravenclaw girls.
"What? You mean them dating?" another asked.
"They deny it up and down." one of the Slytherins announced.
Hermione had a certain idea as to what the four girls were referring to.
At the end of fifth year, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger had broken up. It was nothing personal—on the contrary, Hermione, at that time, was certain that she had liked Ron. He was fun to be around, funny, almost sweet and sometimes considerate—when he wanted to be. But, sadly, their tempers ran too high for them to build up a healthy relationship.
After a long, calm talk between the two, they both decided they were better off as friends. And now, in their seventh year, they still are with no hard feelings on either side.
Unfortunately, however, at the beginning of their sixth year, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley had a nasty break up. Hermione wasn't exactly sure of what happened between her best friend and his girlfriend, but the rumour all around in Hogwarts stated that Harry had caught Ginny cheating with her ex-boyfriend, Dean Thomas, in an empty Charms classroom.
Of course, being his best friend, Hermione was once again Harry's shoulder to lean on. She never asked him what happened, for she knew that he had truly loved Ginny and talking about her infidelity would pain him. So she stuck to holding his hand , squeezing it soothingly.
When Hermione looked back at those times, she remembered the way Harry looked at her when she first held his hand. His eyes were unreadable and he looked at her like he had never seen anything like her before.
It was only when she tilted her head to the side and gave him a questioning look that Harry broke into a true, soft smile, squeezing her hand back.
She remembered that her breathing caught painfully in her throat.
All throughout summer and the beginning of their seventh year, Harry and Hermione grew closer than ever. Harry had spent the summer with her and her parents and they had the time of their lives. They had originally invited Ron, but he had his own plans with his family, so it was just Harry and her.
When they had returned to Hogwarts after the summer, a lot of students from all the four houses noticed the new closeness between Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. The secret glances, holding hands, hugging more than usual, spending more time together, slipping away every Saturday afternoon to go on a quiet walk along the lake's shore.
Blunt students would walk up to them and ask, straightforward, "Are you a couple?"
Said 'couple' would blush furiously and deny.
Sadly, no one believed them.
"Well, I certainly do not believe they are a couple."
Maybe I had thought too soon, Hermione was astonished, hearing Pansy Parkinson's voice echo loudly. Hermione could not help but listen closely.
"Why is that, Pansy?" one of the other girls asked.
Pansy sneered. "Harry Potter can have anyone he wanted. He would just have to wave his wand and a dozen of girls will be on his feet. Why would he want a filthy Mudblood?"
Hermione's stomach clenched painfully.
"You're right." a close-minded Ravenclaw added. "Granger isn't exactly God's gift to men. She's too...plain. I bet Potter just pities her."
"Not to mention she's a total bookworm," another giggled. "And a bossy, know-it-all."
"Have you seen her horrible teeth?"
"Or her bushy hair?"
"Or her body?"
Laughter rang out loud and clear through the library, covering up the sound of the hasty scrape of a chair, the slamming of books, and the hurried footsteps out of the library.
They laughter continued throughout the corridor and into the girl's bathroom, where Hermione Granger locked herself up in and cried all afternoon.
Harry Potter marched determinately towards Hogwarts library. He knew his best friend would be there, probably studying for the N.E.W.T.s exam that was next month.
He smiled fondly.
Arriving to the library and looking around, his smile disappeared into a frown. The library was empty. Glancing at his watch, Harry noticed that it was six. An hour was left for dinner and Harry knew that Hermione wouldn't leave the library for another hour. They would eat dinner together before going back to the Gryffindor's common room and Hermione would help him with his homework.
So, where was Hermione?
He walked up to Madam Pince. "Excuse me, Madam Pince, but have you seen Hermione?"
The librarian looked at him, and Harry was surprised to see the sympathy in her eyes. "Ms. Granger left an hour ago," she hesitated before adding, "crying."
Harry was confused and worried. "Crying? Why?"
Her eyes hardened. "Some girls were rather...rude."
Harry's jaw set. "Do you know where she went?"
"The bathroom, I believe."
Hermione was not in the bathroom.
She was not in the entire castle to be exact: Harry searched each and every classroom, corridor, and hidden doorways and shortcuts. He considered the Room of Requirement, but it was futile. The common room, his last hope, was devoid of any soul.
Hermione was missing.
Harry was starting to panic.
Taking a deep breath and trying to think straight, a thought slammed at him. Hastily making his way towards his dormitory, he pushed open the door of his room, reached his trunk, and took out the Marauders Map.
"I solemnly swear I am up to no good." He muttered.
Quickly flipping through the map's pages, he finally spotted Hermione Granger's dot near their favourite lake.
With that, Harry sprinted.
The lake was shimmering brightly as the sun began its descend to sleep.
Hermione wrapped her arms around her legs, pulling her knees towards her chest, and resting her chin on them. She was not crying, but her eyes were red and puffy. The tears ran dry half an hour ago, leaving nothing but the dull pain and emptiness to settle in her heart.
It hurt. It hurt a lot. Hermione knew that she wasn't the prettiest girl in Hogwarts. She was plain, and she knew it. But hearing it coming so harshly, so purposely from other girls made it seem all the more real.
They didn't have to point out her flaws. They didn't have to rub them in her face. They didn't have to make her feel ugly, unwanted, pitied...
She buried her face in her knees, holding back a choked sob.
Was she ever in her right mind to think that her best friend of seven years would ever look at her that way? Would ever feel what she feels? That she could compare to the other girls he was hung up on-Cho Chang or Ginny Weasley? She was brighter than that, but this thing called love was rather blinding to the logical mind.
Because Pansy Parkinson was right.
Harry had only to wave his wand and utter the word and the whole female population would be at his feet. Why would he want ugly, unwanted, pitied Hermione Granger? Although her teeth were now straightened up, thanks to Madam Pomfrey in fourth year, it did not change the fact that she once had buck teeth when she first met Harry and Ron.
And that's how Harry looked at her—the little, eleven-years-old girl that fixed his glasses that fateful day on Hogwarts Express.
Her head snapped up.
She was too sunk in her thoughts to realize that Harry was standing just a few feet away from her.
Hermione swallowed. "Harry, what are you doing here?"
"Looking for you."
Aware of her surroundings for the first time, she realized that it was respectively night. Harry sat down beside her.
She shook her head.
He frowned. "Your eyes are all puffy. What is wrong, Hermione?"
"Don't lie to me. Tell me what's wrong."
"I don't want to."
"And why is that?"
The words tumbled without permission. "Because I don't want you to pity me more than you already do."
Harry's eyes widened and a lot of emotions ran through him. Confusion, shock, surprise, sadness, pain...
What...? Why...? Did she actually think...?
His thoughts were jumbled up. But he found his voice: "Pity you more than I already do? Where did that come from?"
She didn't meet his eyes. "It's true, isn't it? I mean—"
"Hermione! What's gotten into you? You're my best friend and—"
"—and that's all I will ever be."
Harry paused—eyes wide and breathing laboured.
"Yes. That's true." She whispered, more to herself than to him. "Because you are Harry Potter. Because you can have any girl you wanted. And I'm just Hermione—bookworm, bushy-haired, bossy, know-it-all, ugly Hermione Granger. I'm not as pretty, or shiny, or bubbly, or as beautiful as the other girls, and—"
His lips crashed against hers with a fervour that drove her breathless, rendered her speechless, and made every thought in her mind fly away.
She froze against him.
He pressed his lips against hers harder, trying to coax a reaction from her, needing a reaction from her.
Hermione closed her eyes and kissed him back.
Once she did, she felt his lips grow softer, kissing her slowly and passionately now. Hermione felt like she could melt in the spot.
They broke apart after a few seconds, breathing heavily, and eyes fluttering open.
Hermione stared into his emerald green eyes. She saw that same look he gave her when she comforted him when he broke up with Ginny. The same look that confused her. The look that she wanted him to look at her with.
That look said it all.
She felt that she was the most beautiful woman in existence by his gaze alone.
Note: Err...? Review...? Please...? :)