Back to School

Disclaimer: All rights reserved to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.

Summary: Hermione is back at Hogwarts to complete her education as an Eighth Year. But wait… is that Harry Potter?… as the new DADA Professor?! What's Harry to do when all he can dream/think about is giving Hermione detention and seeing her in her school uniform... or more specifically without her school uniform?

Author's Note: Sorry... I know I suck. But good news! I've written an almost completed draft (about 70% done- the old school way with pen and paper) and now all I've got to do it type up everything and then edit it the best I can before posting it. My New Year's resolution is to finish this by the end of this year (giving myself a doable goal- it was originally by the end of winter but... it's already April...) so hopefully no more stalling!

I want to once again thank everyone for their continued support! Everyone has been so nice and supportive and I absolutely adore all of the reviews! It really motivates me to finish.

No limes or lemons in this chapter... or for the next one at that. Things are heating up, but all in a different way!

And now! Without further ado... The next chapter.

. . . . . . . .HxH.

Chapter 8:

Harry blinked a couple of times, trying to figure out where he was. He looked around, and even though he was still without his glasses and the lights were off, he quickly realized he was in his own room. However, he couldn't figure out the feeling of displacement that was plaguing him.

As if on cue, he was flooded with memories of the Dueling Club and the horrific event that had occurred. His body jumped into high gear. He could hear the rush of blood in his ears as the adrenaline sharpened his senses. He frantically looked about in search of Hermione's whereabouts. However, the only trace of Hermione that he could find was a small note on his nightstand next to a small cup of tea (that seemed like it was being kept warm magically- going by the steam being emitted from it).

His body was quick as he sat up and moved closer to the bedside table. He was kneeling next to the table when he grabbed for the note. Harry then grabbed for his glasses, which had been situated under his pillow (a habit of Harry's since his younger years due to Dudley finding immense pleasure in stealing Harry's glasses whenever Harry slept- not to mention how Dudley would break them any chance he got- which, in turn, would then leave Harry unable to see even 10cm in front of him). Harry put on his glasses quickly; always appreciative of the non-blurry vision it provided him.

Ginny stopped by to tell us that Professor McGonagall will be filling in for all of your classes. You had just fallen asleep and I couldn't bear the thought of waking you up. I'll be off to class after a quick talk with Professor McGonagall. I'll fill you in with what she says so I want you to relax and stay in bed! I'll stop by with some food, so don't even think about going anywhere!

-Hermione

Harry merely stared at the piece of parchment for a couple of minutes before reading and re-reading the text until what the little note said finally sank in.

The unexpected day off left Harry feeling... well... he couldn't quite explain what he was feeling. He knew under normal circumstances he would have been elated at the rest day. Even under the current circumstance he noted (somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind), that he should be, in the very least, grateful for the time to himself. After his mental breakdown due to the incident, it was to be expected- really. But, the only thing he felt was a great disappointment as the once rushing adrenaline came to an abrupt stop which only left his heart thumping uncontrollably with nowhere to expend the extra energy.

Harry's eyes zoomed in on the text where Hermione had all but ordered him to stay in bed. Surely, Hermione, his best friend of eight years, knew that he would not be able to confine himself to the bed when some unknown person had just attacked him a mere few hours before.

There were so many questions that he had no answers to. Was the attack actually aimed at him? Was it a simple prank gone wrong? Was it someone with a personal vendetta? Or maybe a Neo-Death Eater? How could he be expected to 'rest' when maybe the next time he wouldn't be so lucky, or maybe a fraction of a second too late? Maybe the next target wasn't him at all and the next hex or curse was aimed at any one of his dear friends- or worse, Hermione!

His eyes drifted from the small note to the warmed tea and then to the small alarm clock on his bedside table. It probably took Harry a good minute or two to process the hands on the face of the clock. He read 10:53 with the small digits on the clock showcasing that it was the next day- indicating that it was not 10:53pm of the previous night, but 10:53am the next (late) morning (and probably- hopefully- not 10:53pm of the next night).

Well... now he just felt like a huge git. It seemed he had been a lot more tired than he had originally thought- probably due to the fitful sleep he had had the previous night (and the one before that too- due to pre-Dueling Club jitters). Doing a quick calculation, he guessed that the incident had occurred about an hour into the meeting. Meaning, he had probably gotten back to his room at around 9:00pm, latest 9:30pm. He didn't quite remember what time he had fallen asleep last night, but it had seemed quite immediate. However, judging by how tired he felt, he would have guessed he slept for about ten minutes- not over ten hours! He silently reprimanded himself for over-reacting.

His fingers made their way to his eyes, reaching under the glasses, as if to rub away not only the tiredness but his stupidity as well. Once done, he righted his glasses back to place on his nose. His eyes landed on the tea once more and he carefully took a hold of the drink as he repositioned himself into a more comfortable position.

The tea was at the perfect temperature- though that did not surprise him much (it was Hermione who had thoughtfully prepared it for him after all!). He took a sip of the aromatic beverage, noting the flowery scent. He couldn't quite tell which tea it was, but thought it was probably safe to assume it was something along the lines of chamomile due to the calming effect it gave him.

Once he was done with the tea, he got up from bed to wash up. As he was making his way to the washroom, he realized he was still in the clothes he had on the previous night. He began to peel off each layer until he no longer had any clothes on. He bundled the articles of clothing together and tossed them into the hamper just to the right of his bathroom door. Finally, he stepped into the washroom and then into the shower.

He jumped as ice cold water cascaded over his body. He cursed his absentmindedness and lack of focus as he quickly turned the taps until the water came out at a more preferable temperature. He tried to focus on what he was doing as he began to wash his hair, but soon enough his mind wandered back to the previous night.

He felt his heartbeat quicken just slightly as he thought about everything. Every minute detail was mulled over again and again just to figure out who it could have been. But the more he thought about the incident, the hazier every detail became in his mind. His memory kept going back and forth, and soon enough Harry was having difficulty in differentiating between what he saw to what he thought he might have seen.

He thought maybe he might be able to borrow the Pensieve from Professor McGonagall. However, he wasn't too sure how it would help (or how it really worked for that matter). It wasn't as if he had seen where the spell had come from, and the Pensieve was (from what he remembered Hermione telling him) limited to what you actually see and remember and would not quite show things you had missed.

Sighing in defeat, he regained his focus and began to wash his body. However, his thoughts once again digressed and then gradually turned to Hermione. He admired her stoicism and her ability to stay calm during the whole ordeal. He wondered if Hermione had been able to see anything or would be able to add a different view point to the incident. Maybe if she had seen the general direction the spell had been cast from... Had she been able to start or look into creating a suspect list?

As he thought about all this, he let himself soak in the shower as a way to calm himself. It seemed as if adrenaline was being perpetually emitted into his system because his heart wouldn't stop thumping loudly in his chest. As a result, it wasn't until he spotted pale, shrivelly looking hands that he realized he had been in the shower for an abnormally long time. He finally turned the taps off before he ventured out of the shower.

He quickly dried himself with a towel before clothing himself. No thought went into choosing his clothes- merely grabbing whatever was in his dresser and putting it on. In all honesty, most of his clothes were all pretty similar. Not one to really care about his own appearance, most of his wardrobe still consisted of: Dudley's hand-me-downs, which Harry was still kind of growing into; sweaters Mrs. Weasley had knitted for him over the years; professional and casual wizarding robes for work; and other clothing that had been gifted to him. Though he had the money to change his wardrobe, he just couldn't find a point in doing so.

He noted that he had spent just under an hour in the shower. He sighed to himself as he finished putting on his shoes to make his way out of his room. Just as he was walking out of his bedroom, he saw his portrait door open as a bushy-haired brunette made her way inside. He spotted a large basket in her arms. Harry couldn't tell what she was carrying inside the basket, but Harry felt his stomach grumble nonetheless.

Hermione smiled brightly at Harry as she silently made her way to the small table in front of the fireplace. She began to carefully unload the basket and spread out the items on the table. There was a great variety of food that she had brought with her. Harry felt his stomach grumble once more when he spotted a few items he particularly enjoyed eating. He thanked the kitchen elves silently before he verbally thanked Hermione for bringing the food.

He gravitated towards the food- not even realizing he had moved until he was standing directly next to the small table. It seemed his body had a mind of its own when he finally seated himself across from Hermione.

Once he realized almost all of the food items were things he favored he thanked Hermione again, this time reaching over and placing a small kiss on her cheek. He knew Hermione hated going down to the kitchens to ask for specially made food. He felt a warm swelling in his heart as he appreciated her efforts.

Harry thought he should say something more- maybe ask a question or two about the previous night; however Hermione cut in before he could speak. She gave him a reassuring smile as if she knew what he was going to say before breaking the silence.

"I don't want you thinking about last night- not yet anyways. We'll discuss everything later, but I want you to eat before we do or talk about anything else." Hermione said with a note of authority as if to indicate, with her voice, that Harry was not allowed to argue the point. Hermione then reached across the table and placed a fork into Harry's hand.

"I figured you probably haven't eaten a proper meal since breakfast yesterday morning and would most likely be famished. We'll have plenty of time to discuss everything after lunch and seeing as I have specially gone down to the kitchens for you, eat!" Hermione finished most authoritatively.

Not for the first time, since he had met Hermione, Harry felt speechless at how well she knew him. Though the Dueling Club was not all that different from the DA or his Defense class, he had still felt jittery at the prospect of new students- students who had forgone Defense class altogether due to lack of interest or skill. He had not been able to fully enjoy lunch or dinner the previous day, and given he had just woken up, he really did feel famished.

Harry merely nodded at Hermione before he began to plate the various dishes. Once he had a mountain of food on his plate, he placed the plate down in front of himself. He scooped a fork-full of food, but midway toward his mouth he stopped and uttered another small 'thanks' to Hermione before taking his first bite.

They ate in relative silence- only speaking to comment on how good the food was or how unusually cold it was despite the approaching spring season. Both parties made a conscious effort to avoid speaking about the incident, which evidently left their conversation wanting.

Once both Harry and Hermione were finished eating, they took their used dishes to the small kitchenette where they proceeded to wash the dishes in the muggle way (or as the both of them would put it- the regular way).

Harry felt ten years old again- washing the dishes in such a normal way. It took him back to simpler times, though not quite better- just simpler. It had been a lonely childhood, but the times he had been left to his own devices washing the dishes or doing other household chores, had been a time of great tranquility. Doing the dishes always followed a meal so it was the only time when he hadn't had to put up with Dudley's incessant whining or bullying, because goodness forbid Dudley go into the kitchen to do the work of a servant; or Uncle Vernon's constant bickering of how Harry should be thankful he let Harry live with them, no mind it was a broom closet under the stairs; or Aunt Petunia's perpetual twittering on how bad Harry was at everything he did, ignoring the fact that he was too young to be able to do such work perfectly.

Yes, now that Harry had time to really think about it, the time in which he was left alone whilst doing the dishes were the only times he had wholly to himself. It was during that reserved time that he would think about his parents or the odd things that kept happening whenever he felt a strong emotion. Even after learning about, and entering the Wizarding World, it had been the times in which the Dursleys would make him do the dishes that he would be able to ruminate about the happenings of the previous school year.

"A penny for your thoughts?" Hermione asked with a smile and a small nudge of her elbow.

"Just my time spent doing the dishes at the Dursleys." Harry said with a small nostalgic smile. It wasn't very often that Harry looked back at his childhood with any form of fondness. Harry's eyes traveled to look at Hermione to be surprised by her expression of anger and sadness. He hadn't expected such a strong reaction from Hermione.

He couldn't remember ever having mentioned his bleak childhood to either Ron or Hermione in detail. But as it was, the two of them had known he was not particularly liked by the Dursleys, and they had also been given light to the horrendous dieting he had to be part of due to Dudley back in Fifth Year, oh- and not to mention Ron had essentially rescued him Second Year from his own barred room... And given Ron's propensity to make a mountain out of mole hills, he wasn't too sure what Ron had told Hermione about that incident. However, Harry figured it probably wasn't good.

Not to say that what the Dursleys had done to him was sane or right- just... not as bad as it could have been(?) He had seen some of the things adults could and would do to children on the telly before, and he at least had never been physically abused by his aunt or uncle (not to say they didn't shove or pull him roughly at times). Though Dudley would sometimes hit him (whilst his aunt and uncle watched and did nothing), but Harry had always made sure to get back at Dudley somehow.

On some level, Harry was actually glad that they hadn't treated him like they had Dudley. He could have also turned out like Dudley- a spineless, vile, close-minded prick who took enjoyment from making other people feel weak. He may have been lonely, but he knew early on through the exemplary behavior of his uncle and aunt that he would NEVER grow up to be like them.

Harry shook the water off his hands after he placed the last dish on the drying rack. Hermione had turned the water off and they both shared a kitchen towel to dry their hands before turning to face each other fully.

"In all honesty, it wasn't a good childhood," Harry began, "but it wasn't to the point in which you may have seen on the news. It was a lonely childhood, and the Dursleys had taken it upon themselves to try and crush my spirit, but it was through their vile upbringing that I was able to differentiate myself from them. And given the fact that they knew I was magical and still kept me, though it was more out of fear of Dumbledore than anything else, I am still a little thankful..." Harry's voice got smaller and smaller as he saw Hermione's face become more and more indignant.

"Oh Harry!" was all Hermione seemed to be able to manage to say before pulling Harry into a fierce hug. Hermione seemed at a loss for words. She kept muttering things under her breath, without forming coherent sentences, about 'a form of Stockholm Syndrome', 'horrible people who shouldn't be alive', and 'thanking Merlin Harry was as strong and brave as he was for fighting against such an upbringing'. Harry merely hugged Hermione back- not really knowing how to respond to what she was mumbling into his chest.

They were wrapped up together in a tight embrace- neither really willing to let go. They stood there in silence, just enjoying each other and taking comfort in the warm body pressed so close to their own. Harry had at some point begun resting his head on Hermione's shoulder. However, soon enough, reality caught up with the pair and once they both sensed it creeping up, they slowly broke apart.

Once the couple rejoined the real world and all of its incidents, good and bad, the air about them turned serious. Harry looked at Hermione's face, into her eyes. He was usually such a good reader of Hermione's thoughts and expressions, but what he found only seemed to puzzle him. It was a mix and jumble of all sorts of emotions that he had trouble making sense of them. The dominating emotion seemed to be sympathy and worry, which were quite obvious to spot, but she also had the look of guilt and determination, which perplexed Harry greatly.

As Harry tried to make sense and figure out what she was thinking and feeling, Hermione began to speak.

"I've spoken to Professor McGonagall, as well as Ginny and Luna. They were the ones who conducted the investigation- if that's what you'd like to call it. They had asked all of the kids if any of them had seen anything. But, everyone said they were all too engrossed with what they were doing that they hadn't even realized something was wrong until they heard you scream out 'Protego'. Which, apparently, has given all of them a renewed respect for you, now that they have seen you in action- or so Ginny tells me." Hermione said with an awkward laugh and a shrug.

Hermione had turned away from Harry when she had begun to speak, taking steps away from the kitchenette, back into the main room. Hermione's body language told Harry that she was feeling uneasy, and possibly about to say something she didn't want to say.

Without much thought, Harry tried to placate her by reassuring her he wouldn't get angry at her no matter what she had to say. She turned slightly to look back at Harry, and Harry caught a glimpse of confusion on her face before realization eased her face into a grateful smile.

"Thank you Harry." Hermione said quietly. With a look of resolution, she then squared her shoulders and turned to look at Harry straight on. "Well, we spoke to Professor McGonagall and we think it best that you pretend that it had been a simple prank or spell gone wrong. We thought it best not to alarm the other students or the parents of something that could potentially be nothing at all, especially after what everyone went through last year. We came to a consensus that the incident be investigated quietly so as to avoid any sort of commotion."

Harry could feel anger and indignation begin to bubble up inside of him. Was it not clear to everyone that there was an attack?- one that no one knew who the culprit was? He wasn't angry or indignant because he was the one who had been attacked (he was quite used to being under attack, so much so, he had become quite jaded to most death threats- physical or verbal)- no, he was angry and indignant at the seemingly lack of concern for the gravity of the situation. Didn't they understand that they knew nothing? No motive, no target, no idea if it was a planned attack- absolutely nothing!

Harry opened his eyes- he couldn't even remember when he had closed them. He then spotted Hermione standing in front of him- her body curled into itself, seemingly bracing herself for Harry's wrath. Harry's heart sank at the thought that Hermione would ever be afraid of him, or rather afraid of his reaction to what she had just said to him.

Harry took a deep breath. In all honesty, the news had not surprised him. If he took the time to think about it, it had been the way Professor Dumbledore had usually handled unexpected situations such as this- play it off until the culprit exposed him or herself.

He was, however, surprised that Professor McGonagall had agreed to do so as well. He remembered her strong opposition to him entering the Tri-Wizard Tournament back in Fourth Year. But, given that they didn't even have a suspect or a general evil doer (like Voldemort) to fall back on, they really had little choice but to stay quiet and see how everything unfolded.

Harry gave out a loud sigh before replying to Hermione. "Fine." Harry felt his shoulders sag just a bit as he uttered the one syllable word- pushing all of his anger and fight out.

Hermione's eyes grew big and wide at Harry's reply, seemingly surprised by his response. Harry noted Hermione's expression would almost be comical, if not under the current circumstances.

Harry walked over to Hermione and then slowly took her back into his arms. "I'm sure all of you have thoroughly discussed everything. If Professor McGonagall is on board, I won't argue against the four of you. I just..."

"Wait... there's more." Hermione interrupted. She lightly tugged on Harry's arms to disentangle herself from him, but remained close to him. She kept her head down, avoiding Harry's eyes as she spoke very hesitantly. "We... everybody... we all agreed that it would be best... if... if youdidn'tparticipateintheinvestigation." Hermione finished in a rushed uncertainty.

Harry unconsciously took a step back. He then closed his eyes and took another deep breath. "I..." Harry began, only to stop himself. Harry took another deep breath. "Alright." Harry answered determinedly. "But... you have to promise me to be safe."

"O..." Hermione began before Harry interrupted her. He raised his hand, palm facing Hermione, asking Hermione in a universal way to wait or stop.

"You also have to promise to let me know if... if you need my help or... if... if there is any danger. I... I wouldn't be able to cope with not knowing anything- especially if there is an inkling of potential that you may be in danger." Harry said quietly.

Hermione stepped forward and enclosed the little space in between them. She wrapped her hands around Harry once more. "Yes, of course." Hermione whispered into Harry's chest.

. . . . . . . .HxH.

Harry's days had become relatively routine in the passing weeks. It was now mid-March and he had had five more Dueling Club meetings. After the incident, Harry had thought that the initial members would all stop coming to the meetings due to fear. However, Harry had been proven completely wrong when not only did all of the initial members show up to the meeting, a good fifty more students had signed up. Due to the sheer number of students, Harry had actually been forced to add another Dueling Club meeting during the week!

The incident was like a young adolescent's pimple, getting bigger and uglier until it popped and merely disappeared from everyone's mind- that is, until the next big pimple, or rumour, surfaced and caused havoc. Thankfully, no other incidents had occurred in the subsequent meetings, but it had not deterred the new students from quitting the club. All of the students seemed to find enjoyment in the hands-on approach to learning defensive spells with no threat of essays and readings being assigned. It was to the point in which none of the students remembered their initial purpose for joining the club.

During the initial week after the incident, no one would stop talking about it. However, none of the teaching staff confirmed nor denied the incident as an act of terror and had been advised to play it off as if nothing had happened. Rumors spread like fiendfyre ranging anywhere between a prank simply gone wrong, to Neo-Death Eaters polyjuicing themselves to exact revenge on the Boy Who Conquered, even so far as to suggest that it had been a ploy by Harry and Hermione to attract more members.

As such, the vast amount of rumors had actually helped to placate the students and their respective guardians into believing that the incident was, in fact, nothing more than a spell casted by a complete amateur- gone wrong. Because surely, if it was in fact a threat, nothing would be left to speculation especially so soon after the war and what everyone had all experienced the previous year. And so, after a week the incident seemed to have been completely erased from everyone's memory.

Life at Hogwarts, for Harry, resumed back to its chaotic order with days passing by in a blur. With classes, patrol duties, and two separate Dueling Club meetings, Harry had been left with very little time to himself- let alone any quality time with Hermione.

Which came to the only real problem in his life- Hermione.

Not to say that Hermione was a problem... Just that he NEVER got to see her anymore. He didn't mean the act of looking at Hermione either; he saw her loads- during class, during meals (from afar) and during the Dueling Club meetings. But, he no longer got to see her- in terms of conversations and hugging and the occasional snog...

Shaking his head to rid himself of those thoughts (one could only withstand so many cold showers per day) he focused back to the niggling feeling that she was doing it on purpose... avoiding him that is.

Now, there was nothing in particular that Hermione did that made Harry have these feelings... but maybe more like the decidedly lack of doing things that set off the alarms. It was very subtle of course, to avoid suspicion, but Harry knew to always trust his instincts.

It was small things at first. Fewer meals together, less conversations, less late nights in his chambers- that sort of stuff. At first, Harry had reckoned it to Hermione trying to give him some space after the incident or that she was 'falling behind' in her self appointed school work regime. However, in the passing weeks, he had conversed more with Ron Weasley (currently residing at the Burrow) via the Floo Network, than Hermione (who, by school rules) was at most a five kilometer radius from him- it seemed his self conscious had been keeping close tabs.

It was hard to tell if this feeling was just another weird form of jealously (rearing its hideous head), or if what his instincts kept pointing out was true. He knew that if people were being nice, they would describe him as being sentimental or even maybe a pack rat. But, if they were being truthful (and maybe a little nasty) they would describe him as downright possessive.

Though he had not thought of it in that way before, Ron had been so kind to point out, whilst making their way back to Dumbledore's grave (after Harry had fixed his old wand), that Harry had somewhat of a possessive streak. Commenting on how most people would just move on in life (especially after coming into possession of great power like the Elder Wand) instead of piecing together a shattered wand or maybe exchange his old, bent glasses for something less... broken.

At the time, Harry had just laughed it off. Still feeling too happy to have finally defeated Voldemort, he had only been half listening to Ron anyways. But, when Hermione had told him of her thoughts to go to Australia (alone) to locate her parents, it was then that he knew Ron's words to have an ounce (more like a ton) of truth to it. He had felt an ugly bubble, starting at the pit of his stomach, bloat up bigger and bigger until finally Harry had desperately begged Hermione to let him come along. In the end Harry had not ventured to Australia only because Hermione had not only threatened bodily harm, but to never speak to him ever again.

As it was, he couldn't help the killing intent he had every time he saw Hermione with Nathaniel Kinlan. He also had this feeling that Hermione was spending more and more time with Nathaniel Kinlan than with himself. Again, he had no proof of it, but he couldn't shake off the feeling that something was wrong.

They were very rarely, if ever, left alone together. He was vaguely aware that the last time he had actually talked with Hermione had been after the incident. There was always someone or something that came up that would prevent Harry sitting down with Hermione to just chat. And if by some odd chance they were together, alone, all they would discuss was the Dueling Club. He had, of course, tried to broach the subject of the incident on numerous occasions, but each and every time, they never got to discuss any of it.

At first he came up with self made excuses to try to rationalize the time apart. But after weeks apart, Harry could no longer explain why they were constantly interrupted or otherwise unable to spend alone time together. Most recently, even if he was just greeting her or asking about her day, he would be most rudely shut down by a sudden appearance of Nathaniel Kinlan, whose problems were apparently more important to Hermione than being with him.

As a way to finally counteract their time apart, Harry had decided taking drastic measures to ensure quality time was crucial. Armed with a bouquet of wildflowers (which he had conjured- having become exceptionally well adept in doing so), he was hidden in a small alcove by Hermione's Arithmancy classroom. This particular alcove had proved to be very useful during the time Harry had been wooing Miss Hermione Granger before their eventual unification on Valentine's Day. The alcove was situated at the end of the hallway; far enough that no students ventured that way, but close enough that he was within earshot of the classroom. It usually kept him hidden from the other students and their prying eyes or incessant giggling at seeing him with a bouquet of flowers.

It helped that Hermione was almost always the last one out of the class, usually staying behind to ask the professor some questions or otherwise offering to help the professor in any way. Arithmancy was usually Hermione's last class; Astrology being the only other class that ended later, but only on Tuesdays. It was Wednesday and so Harry knew Hermione had no other class or school related meetings scheduled for that particular day.

He saw a handful of students trickle out of the classroom, and then a couple more following close behind. He knew this particular class had the least amount of students due to the subject being an elective (and a hard one at that), but it still always surprised Harry to see such a small amount of students come out of the classroom. The majority of the student body at Hogwarts usually avoided these types of classes like the plague.

Once he counted seven students that had exited the room, he knew that there were only two more students and a Professor left in the classroom. One of the students being Hermione, naturally. He was sure Hermione would be coming out soon enough.

A few minutes crept along slowly, but with every minute that passed by, Harry could feel his heart rate accelerate just a smidgen. He could imagine Hermione slowly putting all of her parchments and quills in order before gently putting everything inside her bag. He couldn't really hear it, but he imagined her shoes click clack against the hard stone floors and she would make her way out into the corridor. He drew a picture in his mind of Hermione, looking a little disheveled (as she normally looked towards the end of the day), but otherwise beautiful in every way.

He heard Hermione laugh before he could actually see her. Harry felt his heart thump against his chest, the rate having increased again at the sound of Hermione. Harry couldn't help it, the mere thought of seeing Hermione, and being with her was getting him excited.

Harry finally spotted Hermione making her way out the door, looking slightly behind her, seemingly having a humorous conversation with someone. He blinked repeatedly and rapidly numerous times at the sight before him. Not only was she laughing- more like giggling- but, could it be true?! She was batting her eyes and flirtingly responding to the person behind her.

Harry could feel heat rise up to his face in a mere millisecond. Blind anger tunneling his vision- taking in every minute detail of the blond boy standing mere inches from his Hermione.

Nathaniel Kinlan... Harry's mind growled out the name.

. . . . . . . .HxH.

Author's Note: I've been typing this up on Google Drive via iPad so there might be some (or a lot) of spelling/grammar errors I was unable to weed out during the editing phase on my desktop. I am truly sorry for all of these mistakes. Most of them seem to consist of spacing error and I'm pretty sure I got all of them, but idk if I really did.