Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Author's Note: This is a comment!fic for willowgreen, who asked for: This is not remotely original, but I'd love to see your take on Harry/Hermione. Mood: Romantic, sneaking around. Time period: Whatever inspires you. I find it hard to write romance without a context, so I ended up with a companion piece to "A Little Sisterly Intervention."

Any canon goofs, grammar mistakes, continuity errors, implausible characterizations, bad dialogue, boring passages, and Americanisms are entirely my fault.

Summary: Harry and Hermione sneak out for some private couple time at Hogwarts. Companion fic to "A Little Sisterly Intervention," not compliant with HBP or DH.

A Clean Getaway

"Are you sure it was a good idea to set Ginny on Ron?" Harry asked yet again as he and Hermione stole quietly through the night-shadowed corridors and stairwells of Hogwarts, pressed close together so his Invisibility Cloak covered them both.

He felt Hermione laugh, her side and belly quaking where his arm was wrapped around her waist, though she muffled all the sound. "It'll be good for him," she murmured into Harry's ear. "You remember what he was like with Viktor, always sticking his nose in and wanting to know what I was doing. If we don't nip this in the bud, he'll never give us any time alone."

Harry didn't think Ron had been all that out of line over Krum, but he kept his mouth shut. Ron was his first friend, still his best friend - and he and Hermione didn't want to shut him out at all - but yeah, sometimes he wanted a chance to be alone with Hermione - his other best friend, his... well, his girlfriend - and just... yeah. He tugged Hermione a little closer and bit back a laugh of his own when she tickled her fingers along his side.

They reached the fifth floor without incident, passed the statue of Boris the Bewildered, and stopped at the door to the prefects' bathroom. Hermione leaned forward and muttered the password, which was apparently "Lysol" this month. The door opened and they slipped inside; Harry bolted it behind them while Hermione shook out the Invisibility Cloak and folded it into a tidy square.

The bathroom was just as splendid as he remembered from fourth year: tub as big as a swimming pool (complete with a diving board for the adventurous); a pile of soft, fluffy white towels laid on a low table in the corner; a hundred golden taps for different kinds of bubble bath; tall windows covered with white linen curtains to keep out the dark of night; and a gold-framed painting on the wall, though the mermaid who lived there had apparently gone visiting another painting for the night. Gentle golden light spilled down from a chandelier with nearly a hundred candles.

"I still want to know what kind of spell gets rid of any spilled wax," Hermione said mostly to herself, staring thoughtfully upward at the perfectly smooth candles. "It must be the same as the one in the Great Hall. I should ask Professor Flitwick about that..."

"Good idea," said Harry, turning a handful of taps to start filling the bath with warm, colored foam. "More importantly, are you sure the spell to keep Myrtle from spying on us is working?" He headed over to grab a pair of towels.

Hermione waved her hand absently. "Yes, yes, of course. I cast that first thing when I got my badge, and I check it every time I'm in here. I'm not an exhibitionist, honestly, what do you take me for?"

Harry handed her a towel with no comment, and pulled his shirt off over his head. Then he bent down to untie his trainers and pull off his socks, trying desperately not to laugh. His glasses went on top of the little pile of clothing, blurring the world around the edges and making the candlelight fracture into mosaic halos.

Hermione flushed. "Erm. Present company excepted, of course? And it's not as if we're going to swim naked, Harry. Stop grinning at me like that."

"Make me," said Harry, kicking off his trousers and jumping into the bath.

Hermione shrieked as the warm water splashed onto her clothes and face. Then she hastily stripped down to her swimming costume - a very sensible sportswear one-piece, in light blue with white stripes up the side - and dove in after him.

Harry did his best to keep away, but Hermione had clearly taken swimming lessons before Hogwarts and she quickly caught up and locked her arms around his chest. "Got you," she said directly into his ear, then gave his cheek a quick kiss. "What will you do to get free?"

"Who says I want to?" Harry asked, and turned in her loosened grip so they were facing each other, standing on tiptoe in the shallow end of the bath with mountains of bubbles quivering around them.

Hermione smiled, pushing a strand of soaked hair away from her mouth with a flick of her tongue. "Oh, I see. You just want me to do all the work, as usual." There was an unusual playful edge to her voice, and Harry gulped.

"I, er, that is-" Hermione was still smiling with that unfamiliar edge, her body warm and wet against him, and he wondered yet again how it had taken him so many years to realize she was beautiful as well as amazing and brilliant and loyal and one of the two best friends any person could ask for. And there was really only one thing to do.

Harry kissed her.

He slid his hands up her back, as far as he could reach with her arms trapping him. Her grip loosened further, her hands clutching his shoulders as she tipped her head sideways to make a better angle. Something touched Harry's lips - her tongue - he opened his mouth, ran his teeth across her lower lip - until all he could breathe and taste and touch and see was Hermione.

Water splashed into his face, foam stinging in his eyes and making him pull back and splutter. "What? Hermione!"

Hermione smiled, all teeth and dancing eyes, as she raked her dripping hair back from her face. "Come and catch me, Harry," she said, and dove into the concealing foam.

Laughing, Harry paddled after her.


AN: Thank you for reading, and please review! I appreciate all feedback, but I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why.