Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Foreword: This was a long time in the making; I started this approximately around November. When I wrote this, I was disappointed with the latest fanfiction that has been appearing lately, and as much as I hate to admit it, I still feel that way today. This story is a little different. It doesn't deal with Harry the Hero or Hermione the Heroine, but rather the teenage aspects of their character. I must admit, I took some liberties with Hermione's past, but I hope that it will work well with you all. If there are errors, I apologise. I tried my best to catch my mistakes, but without a Beta, I may have missed a couple. Also, be warned, there is sex scene. I tried to stay classy with it. In any case, I hope you enjoy this story. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

A Bit of Teenage Rebellion

By Romantic Silence

Harry cursed his no-good, rotten aunt and uncle underneath his breath as he kicked the front door of Number Four Privet Drive. It was locked! From the empty space in the driveway, Harry could tell that his relatives had taken the car and driven off somewhere. He faintly recalled overhearing Aunt Petunia mention dinner reservations with Uncle Vernon and that she was excited for their upcoming anniversary. Harry had gagged and stopped listening. He now regretted not eavesdropping in on their conversation. If he had, then perhaps he would not be locked out of the house.

"There must be a spare key around here…" Harry muttered bitterly as he began searching high and low for a key hidden somewhere on the Dursleys' front porch.

After several minutes of searching, Harry gave up. He was in no mood to continue. His only option left was to wait for Dudley's return from whatever it was he did with that stupid gang of his. That is if Dudley had not gone with his parents. Knowing how rotten Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon spoiled their child, it would not be surprising if they brought him along. Whether or not Dudley did leave with them, it still meant that Harry was stranded outside as day shifted into night.

Harry was frustrated. Actually, he was more than frustrated. He was furious. It had been a week since term ended and he received not a word of contact whatsoever from his friends. He also had to deal with the grief that threatened to consume him after the loss of his godfather, Sirius, at the ministry. Then to make matters even worse, Dumbledore had recentlyinformed him that the fate of the entire magical world was the burden his shoulders had to carry. And this was all after a stressful year of people believing he was a crazy nutcase and a pink toad in the guise of a Hogwarts professor constantly wanting to torture him.

From overwhelming sadness to boiling anger, he experienced a wide array of emotions that changed every hour. He did not know what to do. He did not know how to handle all this. It was hard to even fathom how he was able to stay sane all this time. Any other boy may have already gone off the deep end with what he was going through. All of these feelings culminated into two things: frustration and anger. He knew it was not healthy to bottle up all of his emotions, but he could not think of any other alternative to use as an outlet.

"Harry! What are you doing outside?"

Harry's eyes widened, recognizing that voice instantly. He looked up from staring at the pavement and found Hermione by the sidewalk atop a moped. The streetlamp above her showered her with light, allowing Harry to clearly see the warm smile that she always reserved for him. He could not believe she was actually here! He closed his eyes and then reopened them, believing that he was just seeing things. Her melodic laughter reached his ears.

"I'm real, Harry. I guess you're not insane after all," Hermione remarked coyly.

He could not help it. Her sudden appearance made him grin broadly, his happiness in seeing her dominating his confusion.

"Hermione!" he shouted her name, getting up from where he was sitting and eagerly making his way over to her. "You have no idea how good it is to see you!"

"It's so good to see you too, Harry."

Putting the moped into park and removing her helmet, Hermione swung her leg over and raced to Harry. It was not long before Hermione flung herself into his arms and squeezed him tight. The strength of her embrace was not unfamiliar to Harry as he laughed merrily, returning the gesture with equal force. With everything going wrong, Harry found comfort that his best friend was here with him.

As they freed themselves from each other, the confusion of Hermione's sudden appearance had finally caught up to Harry. Although he was happy she was here, he had many questions to ask her. Tentatively, he inquired, "Hermione, I'm happy you're here and all, but why are you here? I thought you were still with your parents and recovering."

"Harry, I'm fine. I already made a full recovery," she answered with a smile. "Anyway, can't a friend visit? I'm willing to put up with your relatives just to see you."

Harry may not have been the most perceptive boy in the world, but knowing Hermione for so long made him know her very well. He knew she was not lying, but his gut was telling him that Hermione was not telling the whole truth. It was probably meant to spare him of his feelings.

Looking at her with a serious expression, he told her, "I know you better than that, Hermione. What aren't you telling me?"

Hermione sighed, grinning wryly. "I promise I'll tell you, but do you mind if we go inside first?"

Having been reminded that he was locked out, Harry frowned. His eyes reflected resentment towards his relatives for not giving him the ability to provide this one request from Hermione. With a guarded tone, he said to Hermione, "I can't. The door is locked and I don't have a spare key. I don't know where my aunt and uncle are so it could be hours until they return. I'm not sure if Dudley went with them, but if he didn't, he might come back soon and we can go inside then."

By the end of his explanation, Harry could see Hermione seething. Her brows were furrowed and she was biting her bottom lip, the clear signs that a rant was about to form.

"Of all of the irresponsible things I have ever heard! How can your aunt and uncle mistreat you in such a way! I have the right mind to wait for them and fling a few curses to show that you are the most kind and caring boy I've ever met and should feel proud to have such a wonderful nephew who is so unlike their stupid, vile son of theirs!" Hermione exploded in rage.

"Hermione…" Harry called out her name soothingly to calm her.

Unfortunately, she could not hear him and continued her vicious dressing down of his relatives, "It makes me wonder why nature would allow such terrible individuals to be together to spawn more horrid children that would grow up to be as imbecilic and horrendous as them…"

"Hermione," he said her name louder this time.

"Furthermore, they should be grateful that you never decided to exact revenge! You're one of the most powerful and most influential wizards in Britain and they think they can just push you around?! If the entire magical population were aware of the mistreatment that you suffered through, then every wizard and witch including the Death Eaters would be at their doorstep and make their lives a living…"

"Hermione!" Harry shouted even louder.

This time Harry was able to catch Hermione's attention. She stopped before saying the final word and looked up to find Harry watching her with an amused look. Hermione smiled sheepishly, aware that she had been in one of her infamous rants again.

"Sorry, Harry. You know how much your relatives upset me. They're supposed to take care of you well and they're not doing that."

"I know." Harry nodded calmly. "I'm glad that you care enough to be upset. It means a lot. How about we go to the park to talk?"

"Sure! We can use my moped," Hermione agreed, beckoning Harry to follow her.

Harry glanced over at the vehicle Hermione came on. The only vehicle he had experienced that he could compare it to had been Sirius's motorcycle. That had been nearly double the size of the moped! The thought of Sirius immediately made Harry feel the loss of his godfather once more. Careful to hide it from Hermione, he focused his mind on the light blue colour of the moped, mentally reminding himself that it was Hermione's favourite colour.

"When did you get this?" he asked, referring to Hermione's moped. "I don't recall you ever mentioning about getting one."

She was going through a bag he hadn't noticed she had until now when she answered, "I was not planning to, but I realised I was sixteen and old enough to get a license for one. My parents surprised me by buying one while I was out taking the test. When I came back home, they presented all this to me right there on the driveway."

"Wow! That was nice of them."

"Nice, sure, but they were not thinking! What if I had failed the test?"

Harry stared at her oddly with one eyebrow arched. "The Hermione Granger not passing a test? That is as likely as the Death Eaters proclaiming their love for muggles. In fact, there is a better chance of me naming my son after Snape than you failing a single test."

The idea that Hermione failing was baffling. No matter what test it was (with the exception flying and divination, of course), Hermione would always manage to get top marks somehow. It was as natural as the sun being bright and the sky being blue. To associate Hermione with failure was impossible. The entire idea was ludicrous and Harry had to laugh at the notion.

"Don't be a prat, Harry," Hermione simply said, rolling her eyes. She finally found what she was looking for and removed a helmet from her bag. The bag must have been magical as the helmet definitely did not seem like it could fit in such a small container. She handed the helmet to him. "Here, wear this."

Harry obliged her, taking the helmet and putting it over his head. He looked over Hermione's moped and wondered where he was going to sit. It definitely did not have one of those sidecars that motorcycles could have.

"Where am I going to sit?" he asked her curiously.

"Isn't it obvious, Harry? Behind me! Let me just make room. Where else are you going to sit?"

Hermione scooted forward, making enough room for him to sit behind her. She patted the space with her hand and smiled expectantly at Harry. However, for Harry, he was in a dilemma. It was not as if he had a problem with sitting behind Hermione. He trusted her to drive carefully. After all, Hermione was always the first one to point out when things start to get dangerous whenever they were off on their adventures. The true problem was that… well… it was not very manly to sit behind a girl on a moped. He did not care much for the opinion of others, but he could not help but feel like his manhood was at stake here.

"Well, Harry, aren't you going to sit down?" She asked him innocently, patiently waiting for him to get on.

An image flashed in his mind. Hermione was his knight in shining armour come to rescue him from the miserable dungeon that was Number Four Privet Drive, her moped being her noble steed. He was apparently the princess locked in the tower that awaited her prince to come rescue her. Thank goodness his imagination had the decency to not have him covered in a dress. Nevertheless the comparison did little to ease his mind.

Harry knew he had no choice. As much as he was a natural at flying, he did not believe that carried over to motor vehicles. Not to mention it would be rude to commandeer Hermione's moped to drive it himself. He had no doubt that Hermione would begin lecturing him about the rising independence of women in modern society and would chastise him for attempting to subvert it through her. He just needed to be a Gryffindor about it and get it over with.

Carefully, Harry sat behind Hermione on the moped. He held onto the seat with his hands and waited for Hermione to start it up and drive. Hermione looked over her shoulder and noticed how he was sitting. Harry watched her as she frowned and spoke, "Harry, that isn't safe. Scoot closer and wrap your arms around my waist."

Knowing better than to object, Harry followed her instructions and reached over to hug her waist. His mind wandered and thought about how nice it was to hold Hermione. He did not know when he began thinking thing like that about his best friend, but if he could wager a guess, then he assumed that it had been around their fourth year. Whenever he thought he was all alone to compete in a life-threatening tournament, Hermione would always know and give him a comforting hug. He always reciprocated and always thought how nice it was.

With his thoughts of trying to protect his male pride forgotten, Harry soon relaxed which prompted Hermione to start the moped. Before long, the two of them were racing through the streets of Privet Drive! Harry definitely had not expected Hermione to go fast! Besides, mopeds were not supposed to have this much power, right? In any case, Harry was sure that Hermione was breaking the speed limit.

"Hermione," he yelled frantically, "aren't we going a bit too fast?"

Hermione laughed, her voice being carried by the wind, and replied, "We're on a moped, Harry! We're hardly going fast! Relax! You're gripping me too tight!"

"Not going too fast? You're…" Harry glanced at the gauge, "…ten above the speed limit! Bloody hell, Hermione! Are you trying to kill us?"

"Language, Harry!"

He rolled his eyes. Of course Hermione would care more about the curse word he said than the obvious fact that they were breaking the law. That thought gave him pause. Hermione Granger was breaking the law? Granted, he could see her doing that in a life-threatening situation like in their adventures, but he had never expected her to be the one putting them in a life-threatening situation!

"Hermione, we are going too fast! What if the police catch us?" he asked exasperatedly. "I don't want you to get in trouble!"

"But we're already here," Hermione answered as she grinned at him mischievously.


Harry took in his surroundings and found she was right. They were on the curb that surrounded the perimeter of the park. He wondered how Hermione knew where to go, but dismissed it. To reach Privet Drive, you had to pass by the park. With the sun already beginning to set, Harry found that there were few people remaining in the park. The children had already gone home and the only occupants left were the evening joggers or gossiping housewives. The playground nearby was barren, making it the perfect place for some privacy.

"Let's head to the playground," Harry said, pointing to the swing set. "No one will bother us there."

"Sounds good, Harry."

They both approached the playground in comfortable silence. Even though he had a lot of questions to ask her, Harry wanted to enjoy his time with Hermione. He had never felt more frightened in all his life when he saw Hermione collapse at the Ministry. The thought of her dying was too much for him to bear. Seeing her hurt had given him a large dose of reality. She was okay now, but he knew that it would not be long before she would be targeted by Voldemort. He understood that her status as a muggleborn alone would be enough to garner the Death Eaters' attention, but she played a larger role in the scheme of things. Hermione was his best friend. That meant they knew it would kill him to see her hurt. They would make her a primary target.

"What's with the dark look, Harry?" Hermione asked him worriedly, looking at him with concern.

Harry shrugged. "It's nothing."


"No, it's really nothing." Harry repeated, smiling at her reassuringly to ease her nerves.


He forced a smile. "I'm fine, truly. Now, didn't you promise to tell me why you're here?"

"Well, it is true what I said earlier. I just wanted to visit you, but I guess you could say that there is a lot more to it than that," Hermione began, taking a seat on one of the swings.

Harry could spot that Hermione was disgruntled with the way she was glaring at the ground. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

"No." Hermione shook her head fervently. "I just don't know how to say it without you getting angry."

"I'm more shocked that you're at a loss for words, Hermione!" he joked, laughing merrily in an attempt to lighten the mood.

"Harry, be serious," she chided him weakly.

"Okay, sorry."

"Well, it's about Dumbledore. I promised him that I wouldn't contact you through letters or phone. He said something about you having to deal with your issues by yourself and, at the time, I thought that was what you needed…"

His anger at Dumbledore for his reveal of the prophecy had yet to subside even after a week into summer break. Harry concluded that if Dumbledore had simply told him what Voldemort was after, he would not have gone into the Department of Mysteries so recklessly. That meant Sirius would not have had to die, his friends would not have been in danger, and Hermione would not have gotten seriously injured in the conflict. Now that he knew that Dumbledore was behind his friends not contacting him in his time of need… well, Harry's anger at the old man was justified.

"…but then I talked to my parents about what happened. Mind you, I didn't reveal the whole thing, but just the important parts. Anyway, since they do have some medical knowledge despite specialising in dentistry, they told me that it wasn't healthy for you to just bottle up everything that happened. They told me you needed your friends the most right now."

Harry blinked, staring at Hermione with wide eyes.

"So is that why you're here? You were worried for me?"

Hermione gaped at him. "Of course I was worried, Harry! You're my best friend! I never want to see you hurt, physically and emotionally! I could not just sit back and let you rot with your relatives! As soon as my parents told me you needed your friends, I immediately tried to find a way to visit you!"

"Which led you to getting a license for a moped and drive all the way to Surrey?"

"Yes! It's not that far from where I lived anyway. You're only an hour away, after all! I never visited because you keep warning us how horrid your relatives are."

"Well, Hermione, I'm happy that you came and all but"—Harry chuckled nervously—"couldn't you have just taken the train?"

"I"—Hermione blushed intensely—"hadn't thought of that."

Harry clasped his mouth, trying desperately to hold back the laughter that was threatening to spill. His body was quivering with barely contained chortles, but he knew that if he laughed, Hermione would have his head. Unfortunately, as determined as he was to hold it all back, the pressure was too much and the dam burst. Harry was guffawing loudly, holding his sides as Hermione's face turned redder as each second that passed with him laughing.

"It's not funny, Harry!" she cried embarrassed.

"I'm sorry, Hermione!" he stammered in between laughs, "But I never thought I would see the day when Hermione Granger hadn't thought of something! It's truly a memorable moment!"

His laughter was infectious and it was not long before Hermione started laughing beside him. Harry could not remember any other time when he felt so free. At Hogwarts, he was always the Boy Who Lived to many. He had an image to keep up. Even around Ron, his best mate, it was rare for him to be himself. Everyone looked up to him whether he liked it or not. They all had high expectations out of him, and he always feared letting them all down.

Harry realised he was never given the chance to be a normal teenager.

"Do you know what the Dursleys say about me here?" he asked her, smiling wistfully at nothing.

Hermione glanced over to him, shaking her head. "No, I don't. What do they say?"

"They say I'm a delinquent, and they pin the blame of every bad thing Dudley has ever done around the neighbourhood to me. When the school year begins, the neighbours think I'm being shipped off to some juvenile corrections facility. These people"—Harry waved his hand to all the houses surrounding the park—"are just like the people who believe I was a liar. They have no idea who I am but they judge me."

"But you know that isn't true, Harry."

"I know that, but sometimes… sometimes I wish it was. I'm tired of trying. I used to do chores around the neighbourhood, hoping that they would accept me as a good kid, but they never did. I'm sick of it. I just… I just want to do something about this."

Harry sighed heavily and went silent. His eyes clouding with anger as he remembered the injustice he faced in his childhood. He could have had friends. He could have had a grand time in primary school. But he never even got that. His teachers, his neighbours, the children… they all thought him as bad.

"Then why don't you, Harry?" Hermione prodded gently beside him, placing her hand upon his. "To them, you're Harry Potter, the bad boy delinquent of Privet Drive. What are you going to do about it?"

He turned to hear, frowning uneasily as he thought. What can he do about it? It was too late to change their opinions of him now. Glancing at Hermione, he could see that a hint of mischief in her eyes; he knew what she was doing—she was trying to lead him to the solution that she already had figured out.

Harry gaped at her in realization. "No, Hermione. You don't mean…"

"Oh, but I do, Harry." Hermione had a smirk on her lips that Harry rarely seen in the time they had been friends.

"Hermione, do you hear yourself? You're always so responsible and you always follow the rules! What happened to all that?"

His best friend crossed her arms in a huff, pointing her nose up at Harry for stereotyping her. "Honestly, Harry, we're not in school right now. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of people treating you so horridly. For once, let's actually act like teenagers. If everyone here thinks you're a delinquent, then let's become delinquents for tonight—a bit of teenage rebellion won't hurt."

Running his fingers through his hair, Harry pondered over what she was suggestion. Without a doubt, it was a tempting offer. However, he was not sure. But why was he so unsure? Why was he feeling hesitant on acting out? Did not Hermione complain to him all the time about all his rule-breaking at school? Technically, he was a delinquent in Hogwarts because of it.

It was then he realized the problem. He had grown so used to being a role model for others that he was actually questioning himself on how acting out would reflect on him! Why did he care about the opinions of others? The only thoughts he cherished were from those he cared about and he knew they would always stand by him no matter what he did!

"You're right, Hermione. You're always right. This is exactly what I need to do. I never had fun here, but it's about time I do… but at everyone's expense. You're brilliant!"

"Remember, this will only be for today and we will never speak of it! I suppose we can make this our rite of passage of the immaturity of adolescence. Heaven forbid we decide to be like this in our upcoming year and act absolutely loathsome because we can't control our hormones. Can you imagine, Harry?"

Harry covered his mouth, trying to hide the chuckles that were bursting out. "Oh yes, you will be pining after Ron like an airheaded school girl while I grow horribly jealous of the bloke that is dating Ginny."

"You have a fine imagination…" She snorted derisively, rolling her eyes at the thought.

For the first time since summer began, Harry felt excitement coursing through him. There was nothing like payback to his childhood "hometown." Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia would have no idea what hit them as soon as they return. With Hermione by his side, the reckoning of Privet Drive had begun.

This was his ode to Sirius.

"Really Hermione, if I didn't know you very well, I would question why you know how to pick a lock," Harry commented as he watched his best friend in awe. Hermione was kneeling down in front of the Number 4 Privet Drive's door using a bobby pin to pick its lock.

"Oh?" Hermione arched an inquiring eyebrow. "Why do you think I know how to lockpick?"

"Since you're a bookworm, I assume you read it in a book somehow? Or, for a more humorous explanation, your parents frequently locked up your books when you were younger so you could go to bed on time."

"Not bad, Harry! What if I told you that before I went to Hogwarts I was actually a bad girl? The reason I didn't have friends wasn't just because I was smart, but I was also a bit of a rebel and other children's parents would tell them to stay away from me."

Harry stared at Hermione. Was that true? Suddenly he saw her flash him a cunning smile and he realised that he was being had! "You're taking the mickey out of me!"

"Honestly, Harry! Me? Delinquent?" Hermione laughed at the notion. "Though, you were right. My parents did lock up my books when I was little to get me to go to bed. Unfortunately for them, I happened to teach myself to pick the lock. I would sneak out of my room when they were asleep and read my books until I was satisfied. They were never the wiser."

Needless to say, Harry gawked at Hermione. Who knew she could be such a wicked, little witch? He never noticed it before but Hermione was very different during the summer than she was during school. Of course, she still nagged about homework and all that, but it was obvious that Hermione grew mellower during the break. Harry wondered why he never noticed it before.

"I have it!" Hermione cried in triumphant. Harry heard the lock click in place and watched Hermione turn the knob and push open the door. They could get inside now!

"You are brilliant, Hermione!" he complimented her.

"You say that all the time."

"It's true though!"

Hermione simply smiled at his compliment and rolled her eyes, closing the door behind her as they both walked into the house. She frowned once she saw the contents of the Dursley home; Harry assumed she noticed the terrible lack of evidence (family photographs) that he even lived in the place.

"I'm going to go upstairs and change," Harry said, distracting Hermione from getting riled up.


"I can't necessarily run amok causing chaos with my shirt and pants nearly slipping off!"

With that said, Hermione did not say any more and Harry went up the stairs, entering his room. It was too bad Hedwig was currently out hunting or else Harry would have taken her with him on their planned extravaganza. It did not take long for him to change into his Hogwarts dress shirt and uniform pants. He did not tuck his shirt in and he loosened his tie considerably. If he was going to be a delinquent, he might as well try to look nice doing it.

When he got back downstairs, he was surprised to find Hermione in the living room practicing swinging a cricket bat. It was probably one of Uncle Vernon's old school keepsakes. More than once he listened to his uncle prattle on how he used to play rugby and cricket. Harry found his tirades to be boring and never cared much to listen. He assumed most of uncle's feats were exaggerated anyway.

Harry glanced at the cricket bat oddly and asked, "Why do you have that?"

Hermione nearly jumped in surprised when he entered the living room, having been too mindful of her practice swings. Her cheeks were flushed but she managed to regain her bearings fairly quickly when she replied, "I have a great idea on how we can start! I saw it once on the telly and I'm a little curious to see if it can actually be done."

He did not comment that the cricket bat was one of Uncle Vernon's prized possessions (a relic of his boarding school days) and would be angry with him if it went missing. Harry found that he could not care less if he upset his uncle considering the threat the Order gave him at the station. He barely spoke to him all summer, too afraid to even come near him more than required. Instead, Harry smiled and nodded appreciatively at Hermione's proactive thinking.

"Are you ready, Harry?" Hermione walked up to her moped, resting the bat on her shoulder.

Harry locked the door behind him and came running up to his best friend, eager to see what she had in store for him. Without prompt, Hermione handed him the cricket bat and started up the moped. He frowned. "Hermione, what do I do with the bat?"

"I'm getting to that, Harry. First of all, don't you hate how meticulously lined up all these houses are? It's practically the same house over and over again until the street ends."

What Hermione said did hold some truth. Privet Drive was organised in such a fashion. It was a picture-perfect utopia for normal folks who wanted to live in a normal neighbourhood. Looking back on his childhood, Harry hated that. It felt too sterile and he had long wanted to leave the godforsaken place one day.

"So, that means all the letter boxes should all be lined up next to the curb the exact same way," Hermione continued gleefully. "I'm going to drive my moped straight and while I'm doing that, you stand behind me and whack those letter boxes as we're passing by! I've always seen it on the telly."

"A tad dangerous, don't you think?" Harry looked dubiously at the moped. He can ride a broom just fine, but this was an entirely different vehicle altogether.

Hermione scoffed at his question. "Honestly, Harry, you can dive a hundred feet from the air and not turn until you're mere millimetres off the ground but you're afraid of something as this?"

He met her eyes and found a challenging glint to them. She was provoking him! A Gryffindor through and through, Harry was not one to back down from a challenge—especially not one from Hermione. He practiced swinging the cricket bat and smirked, confidently answering, "Of course not. I'm not going to back down now."

Harry placed himself at the back of the seat once again, trying to find a way to stand up on the thing while keeping firm on the vehicle. His natural athleticism led him to discovering just the right way to go about his quest, but it would not be until the moped actually started moving would he truly know. However, Harry soon found there was something they overlooked...

"Wait, Hermione, we have one problem," he suddenly said, gently gripping Hermione's shoulder.

"What is it now?" She sighed, exasperated at his reluctant behaviour.

"We live in Britain. Our letter boxes are at the door."

Hermione groaned and dipped her head forward in disappointment, hitting her helmet against the moped's handle. With a frustrated sigh, she said, "And I was so looking forward to it. I guess that's what you would expect from an American movie. We're not very good delinquents are we?"

He chuckled and sat back down behind her.

"So far our first plan for the night has failed miserably," he commented, mirthful of their situation.

Despite their lack of success, Harry knew Hermione was not a girl that would easily back down. If they were going to act like immature teenagers for a night, they were going to end up doing it for better or for worse. As predicted, Harry did not have to wait for very long before Hermione had another idea.

"Harry, are any stores still open?" she asked curiously.

"I'm not exactly sure, but I think a few petrol stations are around here. Do you have another genius plan, Hermione?"

"Of course, Harry, who do you think I am? How about we find some spray paint and colour up this horrid neighbourhood?"

He grinned broadly. He remembered summers spent as a child before he received his letter to Hogwarts filled with chores. One of them was helping paint the neighbour's house. He always found the colours they used to be too bland and wanted to add some of his own personal taste to them. Of course, he never tried as he knew for certain that Uncle Vernon would punish him if he so much as attempted to.

"So we're going to literally paint the town red?"

"Maybe add some gold? Gryffindor colours, naturally," Hermione chimed in jest.

She revved up the engine of her moped, allowing it to roar across the neighbourhood with wild abandon. Minding its cue, Harry wrapped his arms around Hermione's waist. Hermione then released the brakes and they sped off. This time Harry was able to appreciate the speed and how easily it was being handled. Honestly, if Hermione could ride something so fast, why could not she ride a broom?

Harry gave Hermione instructions on where to go, having roamed the town before. The nearest petrol station was a little far from Privet Drive, but the distance was nothing substantial on a vehicle. They pulled up to the station, parking it in front of the store instead at one of the pumps.

"I don't know why we're arguing about this. I think I should pay for them," he muttered gruffly as Harry stepped off the moped.

Hermione shot him a look that often made him wince and retorted, "And I suppose you actually have any currency other than gold, silver, and bronze?"

She was right. All Harry had on him was wizarding currency. Those were absolutely useless in buying something from a muggle convenience store. He did not say another word, acquiescing the victory to Hermione. She smiled at him triumphantly and walked inside with a skip in her step.

As Harry trailed after her, Hermione already disappeared in one of the aisles. Knowing it was better if Hermione did the business, he scanned the building. He had never been inside before as he never cared to know what the interior was, but it was just as he expected—bland, and unexciting.

"Oi! What're you doing with a cricket bat on you?" cried a startled man. "Don't think of trying to do anything funny here! I can have the police be on you right quick!"

Harry turned and found the store clerk eyeing him (well, mostly the bat) warily. He had forgotten he had taken Uncle Vernon's bat with him!

Before he could formulate a response, the man cried out again, "Oh I know you! That scar! You're the Potter boy! Don't you come near, you hear? I was once part of the Royal Navy so I know my stuff!"

He was stunned! How much did Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon badmouth him in Little Whinging? He was certain he had never met the man before and yet the man knew who he was upon a glance? Harry glared out of habit, thinking dark thoughts of his relatives.

"Calm down, Harry. You're scaring the poor man," came Hermione's soothing voice.

Broken from his reverie, he found Hermione carrying several bottles of spray paint. Not waiting for him to reply, she marched up to the store clerk and placed the bottles on the counter.

"You have to excuse, Harry. It was a dreadful year in St. Brutus and he's in a foul mood. Just let us purchase our things without trouble and I can guarantee that Harry here won't damage your shop."

The man frowned and swiftly began scanning the items. After Hermione paid, the clerk snarled and nearly yelled, "Now get out of here! Bloody kids these days!"

Hermione smiled and placed the bottles of spray paint in a plastic bag and walked over to Harry. He was gaping at her like a fish, not exactly sure how to make of the situation. Honestly, he was just too confused to properly make a response. He knew he had a bad reputation but he honestly did not expect to arouse such a level of fear in people.

"That was quite amusing." Hermione chuckled serenely. "They act like you're Voldemort."

At that statement, Harry smirked wryly. "I know I shouldn't be surprised, but it seems I'm a pretty menacing young man."

"Quite so, Harry. With that mop you call hair, those piercing, green eyes, and that wiry frame, your entire appearance absolutely strikes you as the foulest thing on the planet. The world trembles in fear."

The two friends bantered back and forth as they exited the store, intending to head straight back to Privet Drive and begin adding graffiti to all the houses. However, neither them expected to find Hermione's moped suddenly under the weight of one fat cousin of Harry Potter as he was surrounded by said cousin's gang.

"Hey Piers, don't I look good on this or what?" Dudley Dursley asked his best friend, Piers Polkiss, as he bounced on the seat. "I should get my parents to buy me one of these this summer."

"Why ask when we could just steal this one? I know a guy who could help hotwire it," Piers replied, looking at the moped greedily.

Upon hearing this, Harry was quick to react, and shouted, "Hey Big D! Get your fat arse off of that before I do something about it!"

Dudley's gang's attention was immediately drawn to Harry who stood before them with Vernon's bat clutched tightly in one hand while giving them a ferocious glare. Hermione stood beside him; she glared at the group as well, not at all frightened by the five's much larger builds. This was a young woman who took on Death Eaters after all.

"Well if it isn't Potter! This your moped? Too bad, it's ours now!" Piers laughed, and turned to Dudley. "What do you want us to do—hey D, why're you so pale?"

Harry's cousin did nothing but stare at Harry, his round face was nearly white as a sheet. Dudley immediately stood up, moving away from the moped. "Let's get out of here, Piers. You don't want to mess with Harry!"

"Why is your cousin so intimidated by you?" Hermione asked him quietly as Dudley and his gang talked amongst themselves, leaving Harry and Hermione alone temporarily.

He shrugged, but answered nevertheless, "I'm not sure. I did save him from the Dementors last summer. Maybe he's just grateful that I helped him out then?"

"Or maybe seeing you reminded him of that horrifying experience with the Dementors and thus a psychological reaction was induced upon sight of you," his brilliant friend replied confidently, an amused smile gracing her. "It's humorous."

Though entertaining as it was to watch Dudley and his friends argue with one another, Harry was growing impatient. He did not want to spend any more time in the company of his childhood tormenters. He called out to them angrily, "Hey Piers just take Dudley's advice and get going. I don't have time to deal with you or your idiot friends."

Dudley's gang turned their attention back to Harry. Piers, in particular, separated from the group, striding arrogantly towards Harry. He glowered menacingly at Harry, towering over him like he had done before in their childhood. Dudley watched with bated breath, and Hermione remained calm, never leaving her eyes off of Harry and Piers.

"And what if I don't?" Piers challenged him, smirking cockily.

Harry's eyes blazed with fury, summoning the anger he had felt back then in the Headmaster's office when the prophecy was unveiled to him. With a snarl that was so unlike him, Harry replied, "Then I'll make you."

Without warning, Piers suddenly threw a fist at Harry's head. But despite the sucker punch, Harry saw it coming; years of being tormented by Dudley, Piers, and their gang had given Harry an idea on how they operate. It wasn't the first time Piers had tried to sucker punch him. Unfortunately for Piers, Harry was much quicker than him. He quickly ducked down, dodging the punch aimed for his head. Realising he was still holding on to Uncle Vernon's cricket bat, he gripped the handle and body with both his hands, and then shoved the end of it into Piers' stomach.

The boy crumpled like a deck of cards. Piers fell to his knees, clutching his stomach, and moaning from the pain. Harry could not stop himself from viciously glaring at his childhood bully; no one ever tried to fight back before, so of course he never felt how much it could hurt to be hit. As he continued to watch Piers' pitiful form, memories of being hunted by him came into the forefront of his mind. In a fit of rage, Harry drew back his leg and kicked the boy at his side repeatedly.

"How do you like it, Piers? Huh?" Harry asked him mockingly as he continued beating him down. "Does it hurt? This is nothing compared to what other kids felt when you bullied them. This is nothing compared to what I went through because of you!"

Harry raised the cricket bat over his head, ready to use it as a weapon to finally give some payback to the bastard before him. His eyes were raging with fury, and he was breathing heavily from the adrenaline his anger was giving him. But before he could drop down the guillotine, he felt Hermione's soft hands grab his wrists with her arms gently wrapped around him. He heard her softly whisper, "That's enough, Harry."

Hearing her voice made him immediately come back to his senses. Harry lowered his arms, hanging them loosely by his side. Hermione manoeuvred around his waist, hugging him from behind. He could feel her head lying against his back; that alone gave him a soothing calm. He looked down at Piers, and found the boy in a pitiful mess. He was hugging himself and crying with bubbles of snot coming from his nose.

Dudley and the rest of his gang stood frozen where they had been standing, looking fearfully at Harry while glancing worriedly at how broken Piers had become. On the ground, Harry could make out several pieces of glass, and found the whole petrol station to be much darker than before. He concluded that his anger had his magic lash out to his surroundings, shattering several of the light bulbs.

"What do you think you punks are doing!" shouted the petrol station clerk. "I'll have you know I called the police! You lot are in a load of trouble!"

"Shit!" One of Dudley's gang cursed. "We have to get out of here!"

Dudley nodded, and took command. "One of you has to go and grab Piers! We have to go before the police arrive!"

"We have to go, Harry," Hermione said, pulling Harry by the wrist towards her moped.

Harry simply nodded, too numb—both physically and emotionally—to say anything else. Hermione could not help but frown worriedly over Harry, but decided otherwise to mention it. He got behind her on the moped, and watched Dudley and his gang take Piers before they all began running as fast as they could away from the petrol station. A patrol car arrived in a matter of minutes, but by then Harry and Hermione had sped off.

The mood had soured; there would be no pranking tonight.

Hermione parked on the sidewalk opposite of the Dursleys' home to ensure that Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia would not be suspicious of an unfamiliar vehicle in front of their house. Harry, however, was in a dour mood, and did not even praise his best friend for her forethought. His mind had wandered into the self-criticising recesses of his mind; he had lost all joviality he had displayed when Hermione appeared a few hours ago.

His mood had gone back to the time when Sirius's death was still fresh, and he had yet to evolve the anger and frustration he felt for the Headmaster. As he walked sullenly back into the prison he had called a home for all of his childhood, the memories of beating Piers mercilessly bombarded his every thought. Harry berated himself. He was better than this! How could he let himself go?

Behind him, Hermione closed the door shut. "Harry," she whispered tenderly, "do you want to talk about what happened?"

Temporarily, he broke free from his thoughts, and took notice that he was back in his room. Harry watched Hermione look at him with worry, and he felt guilt piling onto his shoulders atop of what he already was feeling. She should never have to witness what he had done.

"No, I'll be fine," he lied, taking a seat on his bed. "I'm glad you were there to stop me though, but I think you should go home. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia won't be happy if they come back to find you here."

Hermione shook her head resolutely, and gazed determinedly at him. "I'm not going anywhere, Harry. I've never seen you so… so…"

"So unlike a hero?" Harry sneered. "I'm not always all good and light, Hermione!"

"I never said you were!" Hermione cried out.

"But you were thinking it weren't you?"

Hermione could not hide the hurt in her eyes as Harry rebuked her viciously. She folded her arms, and held herself, sighing deeply to regain her composure. "No, I wasn't, Harry. I'm just concerned for you! I've never seen you act so violently before. I know you have a temper, but I have never seen you react with such violence before. I'm worried about you!"

Another rude retort was at the tip of his tongue, but he held it back at the worried look Hermione gave him. He ran his fingers through his hair, and he replied, "I'm sorry you had to see that, but you wouldn't understand."

"Actually, I do understand."

He stared at Hermione incredulously and frowned. "No you don't. You don't understand how great it felt giving Piers what he deserved after what he's done to me before! You don't understand how easy it was to hurt him, and how much more I wanted to do it!"

But despite his anger rising (which made him look intimidating), Hermione did not back down from her challenging gaze. She walked up to his bed, and sat on the edge of it next to him. Before Harry could say a word, Hermione spoke. "I'm sure it isn't surprising to you, Harry, but I was bullied too. I was the know-it-all with the bushy hair and buck-tooth. The other children enjoyed ridiculing me, stealing my belongings, and other cruel things."

Harry stiffened, remembering how Hermione mentioned before that she had been persecuted by the other children in her past.

"However, this was only true until I was nine. Since my birthday was in September, I was slightly older than the other children, and as I was a healthy, growing girl, I physically grew faster than those in my year. When I turned nine, I noticed how I was so much taller and bigger than the other children. I was even stronger than them too." Hermione smirked as if remembering that time fondly.

He could not imagine Hermione being more physically imposing than anyone. Her intelligence and wit were always her more threatening aspects of herself. After all, Ron had once described her as scarily smart.

"I could never forget my tormentors, and with my newfound power, I stood up for myself. However, you could say it was more like the roles were switched. They were no longer the bullies—I was. I was vindictive; I could never forgive any of them for what they done to me. In the beginning, they were not scared of me, but I showed them by employing their tricks against them. I pushed them around; I punched them; I kicked them; I hit them with textbooks. Did I ever feel guilty then? No. I felt I was justified in doing so."

Harry was in awe. To him, Hermione was the most caring person he had ever met. She always went on about the rights of house-elves and other creatures. Hermione had been the first one to oppose Buckbeak's execution in third year. But despite the fond thoughts he had of her, Harry could not feel that Hermione was lying. He remembered all too well what happened to Marietta Edgecombe.

"Soon enough, the other kids were under my thumb. I remember bossing them around as my lackeys. The teachers and my parents never knew—to them I was still the teacher's pet and their smart, little girl. However, I soon realised how terrible I was when a new student came to my class." Hermione's expression darkened. "I wanted to show her that I was in charge. In truth, I was jealous of her. She had such lovely hair, and I hated that because I had such thick, bushy hair. One day, she was playing in the park close to my home. I had my scissors from school with me. I gathered the other kids, forced her down, and cut her hair. She ran home crying, and that was the last I saw of her. Her parents decided to transfer her to another school."

"So what happened?" Harry could not help asking. "Did you get in trouble?"

Hermione smiled sadly, shaking her head. "No, no one ever found out, but as she ran home, she called me a bully; that was the last I ever saw her. After that incident, the other kids didn't want to hang around with me anymore. They rather risk my wrath then do as I say ever again. I was well and truly alone. I realised how awful I was being, and I decided to change all that. You could say I was relieved when I found out I was a witch. It meant a new start somewhere else. But all I ever knew what to do was boss around people; I couldn't make friends at Hogwarts until you and Ron saved me from the troll."

Harry carefully watched Hermione as a few tears fell from her eyes. He had never expected Hermione of all people to do something so cruel to someone else. However, he could tell that she sincerely regretted it, and had changed for the better since then.

"Now you know my sordid past, Harry Potter." Hermione forced a grin. "You don't think less of me do you?"

"Of course not, Hermione! You're still my best friend," he admitted, wondering why she would ever think such a thing.

This time, Hermione genuinely smiled, and placed her hand over his, smoothly caressing his palm. "Then I don't think any less of you for your outburst back there. I can understand how things you bottle up can explode inside you if such an opportunity presented itself. I can tell you sincerely regretted it, and no matter how good or righteous it may have felt, you understand that it was wrong of you to react violently. You're only human, after all."

"I'm glad you think so." Unconsciously, he took wrapped his fingers around hers. "Remember how everyone here has this idea of me? So does the wizarding world. To them, they think I'm some hero that will never do any wrong. Even Ron, the Weasleys, and all our close friends think I'm sort of messiah that will save them all from Voldemort. Honestly, I think I'm just a kid way in over his head. I'm not all good. I'm not everyone's hero. I'm just Harry."

"You're a brave boy who just wants to do the right things, and that's more than enough for me, Harry." Hermione leaned in and pecked him on the cheek. "You may stumble every now and then, but just know that I'll always be there for you."

Harry felt his cheeks heat up at the touch of her lips. He smiled sheepishly, and nodded. "I don't know what I would do without you, Hermione. I probably would have failed all my exams if it weren't for you."

Hermione laughed, and it was the most soothing thing he had heard all summer. He fell back on his bed, and beamed brightly for the first time since Sirius's death and being privy to the prophecy. Although he did not reveal everything that was bothering him to his best friend, Harry felt it was enough for now. He felt the weight on his shoulders lessen as if the burden thrust upon him had been reduced. A companionable silence fell between him and Hermione as both marvelled at the intimate conversation they had just shared.

"Harry." Hermione broke the silence. Her voice was soft, as if she was nervous. "Does this mean we're finished acting like rowdy teenagers for the night?"

Harry thought about it, and replied, "Well, I'm not much in the mood for it anymore. My father and Sirius would be so disappointed in me. I guess I'm not cut out to be a Marauder. Why? Is there something you still want to do?"

"Do you trust me, Harry?" she asked him tremulously.

"Of course." Harry grinned, wondering what Hermione may have in mind.

What came next was a shock to the teenage boy. Hermione suddenly swung her body around, and mounted his lap. Her hands rested on his chest, softly pushing down on him; it served the function of keeping him prone on his back. But it was her eyes, not her hands, which kept him still. As their eyes met, Harry could not mistake the unshakeable resolve he saw in them.

"Hermione," he called out to her nervously, "what are you doing?"

Harry was not entirely ignorant. Having spent a majority of the year living in a dormitory with four other teenage boys for the past few years, he had an inkling as to what a young man and woman could get up to in private quarters. But this was Hermione, not just any girl! How could his best friend possibly be willing to do that with him?

Hermione smiled, but it was not the typical one she gave to others or the warm one that she reserved for him. Her smile was more like a smirk, mischievous and impish. And despite little artificial light in his room, the glow of the moon from outside allowed him to see how seductive and alluring her smile could become.

She leaned in closer, dipping her head until their foreheads nearly touched. "I think you know what I'm doing, Harry."

His heart raced, and he could his temperature rise in his cheeks. "We can't," he meekly replied. "We're best friends. Best friends don't do this with each other. Don't you only do this with someone you love?"

"And I love you, Harry," Hermione cheekily replied.

That was the first time anyone had ever told him they loved him. Unfortunately, he could not revel in the feeling. Harry knew what Hermione meant when she said those words. "I don't mean as friend! I mean for someone you love romantically!"

Hermione frowned, and leaned back. She remained atop his lap, but this time she was looking at him with a serious look—the same look she often had whenever she a point to make. "Honestly, Harry, you're right. I may not love you romantically, but it doesn't mean I don't love you enough for us to do this. Also, I am attracted to you. Physically, I think you're handsome. As for what's inside, I don't think I could find a better person than you to do this with."

"But why now?" Harry was still not convinced.

"Do you want the truth?" he nodded enthusiastically, causing Hermione to release a wry sigh. "This may be the last time we could act as carefree teenagers. No matter how much we may wish for a normal year once summer is over, you can guarantee that it won't happen. Voldemort is out there, Harry, and we're caught up with all of it whether we want to or not. Just for tonight, I want us to forget our responsibilities, and just have fun like we initially promised earlier."

He became silent, realising how right Hermione was with her argument. Nevertheless, Harry still had his reservations. What if this affected their friendship? "What if this ruins our friend—"

Before Harry could finish his sentence, Hermione had thrown herself at him and kissed him on the lips. Her hands cupped his face, caressing him gently as if to urge him to kiss back. He remained unearthly still, fighting against his body's natural urge to kiss her back.

One thing Harry forgot was how determined Hermione could be. She had noticed his hesitance, and reacted swiftly to counteract it. Hermione removed one hand from his face, and slowly let it drift downward. When Harry felt her hand brush against his crutch followed by a gentle squeeze, he gasped. Hermione took this opening, and quickly plunged her tongue inside.

His mind was in a daze; his defences were growing feeble. As Hermione's tongue swirled within his mouth, his lust grew even more. No longer able to remain passive, Harry finally kissed back. It was just like him to recklessly rush in; his kiss was sloppy and showed his inexperience. Neither Harry nor Hermione cared though. The two of them were too busy enjoying themselves.

Finally, the need for air was too much to overcome for the both of them, and they broke apart.

"Hermione…" Harry moaned.

Hermione was breathing heavily, but she grinned at Harry's ruffled appearance. "Well, I was certainly right. Your kissing is more than satisfactory. How was it for you?"

"Wet." Harry wiped away the drool running down from his mouth. "But very nice."

"Oh, Harry." Without warning, Hermione began kissing him again. This time, Harry did not resist, and he sat up to have more ample leverage.

Hermione was the dominant one, leading his hands to touch and feel parts of her body. Somehow she was able to place his hands inside her jeans, allowing him to feel the fine texture of her knickers that covered her fine bum. He had never thought much of Hermione's bum before, but he was sure to have an opinion of it now; if it were not for his thoughts being preoccupied with Hermione's deep kisses, then he would surely have begun to blush madly from what he was doing.

His gorgeous best friend pulled away, smiling almost shyly at him. Her lips were swollen from the rough snogging that had taken place, and Harry could not be prouder than himself right now. With a seductive whisper, Hermione ordered him, "Let's take off our pants, Harry."

His mind was abuzz from their lust-filled actions, and he simply nodded his head silently. They quickly began removing the lower article of their clothing ensemble, rushing to remove them as fast as possible. Harry had just taken his off before Hermione once again began kissing him. He could get absolutely addicted to Hermione's luscious lips.

Whether Harry was distracted or he just simply no longer cared, he allowed Hermione to begin unbuttoning his school shirt. It was not long before the only piece of clothing left on him was his boxers. Hermione threw his shirt over her shoulders, and pushed him down onto his back again.

"Harry, I need to know, do you love me? Do you find me attractive?" Hermione asked in a rushed after another respite for air.

Breathing heavily, Harry looked up at Hermione straddling him. Her shirt was also unbuttoned, allowing him a glimpse of her breasts; she was not wearing her bra! For a moment, Harry controlled his instinctual urge to continue their hormone-fuelled tryst, and told her sincerely, "Of course I love you, Hermione. You're my best friend; the one that's always been there for me. And I always thought you were pretty, especially after I saw you in the Yule Ball."

Harry could tell that Hermione understood that he did not love him as a lover should, but to her it seemed like it was enough. They were friends first; more than anything, they valued their friendship much more than any romance in their lives, past and future. With a beaming smile that reminded Harry of the Hermione he had known over the years, she leaned down and gave him a chaste peck on the lips.

"I want you to be my first," she confessed.

"I'm your first?" Harry asked, confused. "With the way you were going at it, I thought…"

Hermione chuckled, not taking the least bit of offense at Harry's lack of tact. "Oh, honestly, Harry. I'm not that kind of girl. The furthest I've ever gone was giving Viktor Krum a peck on the cheek."

At the mention of the Bulgarian seeker, Harry's cheeks became red. "I'm sorry, I just assumed…"

She did not comment further, instead deciding to coyly reach into his boxers. Harry gasped when he felt Hermione's soft hand on his member. When he looked up at Hermione, she was frowning. She looked at him, and inquired, "Why do you not have an erection by now?"

Harry could not help feeling guilty for having remained flaccid despite their snogging. However, he knew it was from nerves. His stomach was fluttering with nervousness, and if he had been standing he was sure his knees would have been shaking. To his teenage mind and body, Voldemort and Death Eaters were not intimidating; the prospect of having sex was putting him on edge, leading to his… inability to perform.

Luckily, he did not have to admit to anything verbally. With a glance, Hermione was able to tell how nervous he was. When Harry looked up at her again, he had expected to see a disappointed expression on her face, but to his surprise he only saw determination and amusement.

"If you're not going to 'get hard', in layman's terms, naturally, then I'll have to take it upon myself to help you do so."

Whatever she meant by that, Harry had no clue what it was. In all honesty, he was naïve when it came to sexual acts. He knew about regular sex and masturbation (having done specifically that before), but that was the extent of his knowledge; he recalled some other things, but he was familiar with them. The other boys in his dorm, especially Ron, never actually had a sexual experience before, and he never listened to them when they started talking about that sort of thing.

Hermione had moved towards the other end of the bed, and she leaned forward until her face was at his lap. With a grin, she pulled off his boxers, leaving him exposed. Before he could protest, he was met with another surprise. Harry's eyes widened when Hermione opened her mouth, and engulfed his flaccid member! A sensation he never felt before struck him, leaving him absolutely speechless.

Harry was mesmerised by the gratification that had overcome him from Hermione's one action. Her tongue was pressed against him, swirling about in rapid fervour. Enraptured by such tantalising pleasure, his blood rushed southward in his body, forming a full erection. His nerves were no longer an obstacle.

With a sudden pop, Hermione removed her mouth, and captivated Harry with a ravishing smirk.

He watched silently as she hovered above his lap, him in her hand gently being caressed. A soft moan escaped his throat; this was too much. Hermione was on her knees, aligned to his now rigid organ, and ready to plunge, both physically and emotionally, to new heights. For a single moment, their eyes met despite the darkness, and Hermione, with her loving, brown eyes, asked for his permission. Harry was too enchanted to deny her his virginity.

The feeling of soft, velvety slickness enthralled him. His hands crawled up her thighs, and gripped her waist. Hermione let out a gasp, crying out in slight pain. She let out soft, deep breaths as if she was meditating, and on his chest she drew circles with her fingers. Harry continued to hold her, loving every moment of this new sensation he was feeling.

Slowly, but surely, Hermione began moving. Harry obliged by helping her, using the strength of his grip to pull her down and push her up. As the seconds rolled by, both teens were revelled in the euphoric bliss they were newly experiencing. Too lost they were that they did not notice the sounds of pleasure they released in this zealous ritual. What they lacked in moderation, they made up in their intense passion.

Time became lost to both teens.

"Hermione, I'm about to…" Harry managed to say in between breaths.

Instead of replying, Hermione grinned and lowered herself to kiss him deeply once more. As Harry moaned into her mouth, he could feel himself releasing his seed into her. He could feel Hermione's legs shaking as she released a cry of pleasure of her own. Their bodies tensed, and then instantly relaxed. Hermione fell into a heap atop Harry; her head rested on his chest.

Harry could not help but feel immense satisfaction and physical relief, but his mood quickly switched to panic upon the realisation he had not used protection. As if sensing his sudden worry, Hermione immediately spoke up to alleviate his concern, "Relax, Harry. I've been on the birth control pill for a few years now. I mostly use it to help regulate my period, but it has proven to be useful in this little endeavour of ours."

He released a sigh of relief, but he still had some concerns—and it was not about the physical ramifications of their act. "Hermione, what does this mean for us?"

Hermione rolled off his chest, but remained lying beside him. "Honestly, Harry, I don't really know, but can't we talk about this later? I just want to enjoy this night a little more; like you, Harry, I just want to be Hermione, the teenager, right now."

Although Harry was not satisfied with her answer, he acquiesced; after all, he just had sex with Hermione!

Harry awoke with a start as he heard his room's door being loudly knocked on by either his Uncle Vernon's or Dudley's fat knuckles. "Wake up! Mum wants you down to tend the garden!" shouted Dudley, his voice muffled because of the door. Harry frowned, not feeling up to menial garden work so early in the morning.

Evidently, Dudley was not satisfied with Harry's silence, and barged in. "Mum says it's already near eleven and—"

"I'll get to it, just let me wake up," complained Harry, rising from his bed while yawning. He glanced at Dudley, and noticed him frozen at the door, staring at him and his bed. Irritated, he asked, "What?"

Dudley squeaked, and ran off, slamming the door shut behind him.

"Finally, he's gone. That whale of a cousin of yours can be so loud," Hermione said, sitting up next to Harry. "Good morning, Harry! I'm feeling so refreshed!"

Harry stared at Hermione, and took notice of her naked form. His mouth dropped; he could not believe his eyes. Last night, he had a very realistic dream in which he slept with Hermione, his best friend. However, upon seeing the sight of her nude body, Harry suspected that he really was awake last night, and that he really did have sex with Hermione.

Hermione chuckled at the sight of him, taking the sheets to cover her breasts. "Harry, I'm flattered that seeing me has left you speechless, but I would appreciate it if you talk."

"Hermione!" he nearly yelled. "Did you and I… last night… uh…"

"Yes, Harry. We had sex." She grinned. "It was absolutely wonderful! In the dorm, most girls say your first time would be awful, but last night certainly was not!"

He had sex with Hermione last night! His mind reeled at the thought; he certainly thought Hermione was attractive, especially after what she did to him last night, but he knew there could be consequences to their reckless actions last night. Finding the courage, Harry knew he had to broach the subject of their friendship before Hermione brushed it off again. "Hermione, hold on! While I can say that… last night was amazing… aren't you worried as to what this could mean to our relationship? You're my best friend, Hermione! I don't want things to be awkward between us. I mean… I'm already feeling a little awkward here…"

"Calm down! You're panicking!" Hermione chastised him. "Furthermore, are you still on about that? While I admit that last night wasn't exactly something two platonic friends would have done, but I certainly don't regret. Do you?"

Harry was about to say "Yes, I do regret it" but as he scrutinised Hermione closely, he could see a hint of insecurity in her eyes. He was quick to gulp down his rapid response, and actually thought about how he should reply. Truthfully, experiencing sex for the first time with Hermione was nothing short of magical (mind the pun), but he had never expected this turn of events. However, he had to admit that losing his virginity to Hermione was far better than losing it to some fangirl who only liked him for being the Boy Who Lived. He was also happy that he was Hermione's first. Did he regret it? No, he did not.

He shook his head. "I don't regret it, but I am worried about our friendship. What we did was… huge. I… I don't want to lose you for what can be called a momentary relief. I don't know what we should do about this."

Without pause, Hermione took him into her arms, squeezing him with all her might—a typical hug from Hermione. "You're a sweet, sweet boy, Harry! But you worry far too much! Ironic considering I'm usually the worrywart between us. We don't need to do anything about this, Harry. Are we still best friends?" Harry nodded. "Then all is well. Let's not let what we did change who we are. I will treasure the fact that I gave my virginity to my best friend. Not many girls can say that. Most girls lose their first time to an awful boyfriend."

"You're too cheerful about this," Harry responded. "But I suppose you have your point. You're right; we shouldn't worry about this right now. We're still best friends, and, well, I will also treasure the fact that I lost my virginity to you. Thank you, Hermione."

"No, thank you, Harry—you're the best. Now I think we should get dressed. For all we know, your aunt would be the next one to walk in on us."

Suffice to say, Hermione was right. Not a moment later, Harry heard Aunt Petunia enter the room, shouting for him, "Why aren't you up yet! I need you to tend to the gard—"

In a flurry of activity resembling a typical Weasley household morning, there was much yelling and hurrying. Aunt Petunia shouted obscenities, ranting at the immorality, the obscenity, and the indecency Harry and Hermione were displaying; she even went as far to say that Hermione was a scarlet woman that would pluck the innocence of her dear "Dudders" next. Harry and Hermione laughed riotously at that.

Fortunately, Uncle Vernon had already left for work, ensuring that he would not join in on Aunt Petunia's ravings. Of course, with Aunt Petunia yelling herself hoarse, nosy neighbours wondered what was going on. Many peeked from their windows, or pretended to do yard work to get an idea of what was happening in the Dursley home. Their interest was piqued by leaps and bounds once they witnessed Hermione hurrying to leave the house with Harry in tow all the while laughing as Aunt Petunia was at the door, shouting that the scarlet girl dare not darken her home again.

"Your Aunt Petunia is a riot!" Hermione laughed, crossing the street to get to her moped. "She still infuriates me, but it cannot be said she isn't amusing."

Harry smiled, but as Hermione sat atop her moped, he nervously ran his fingers through his hair nervously. "Will you come by again sometime?"

She turned to face him, smiling at his question. "And whatever shall we do if I visit once more?"

With the way she phrased her question, and by the luscious tone she took on, Harry's face reddened as his thoughts reverted back to what happened last night. "I didn't mean to imply…"

"Of course, I'll come back! Someone needs to help you do your summer assignments, and it would do some good to give you some extra reading." Harry blanched at the thought. "Oh, don't give me that face. You should know by now it's not all fun and games when you plan to spend time with me, Harry."

Harry smiled, gazing at Hermione with a fond expression. "I guess you have to go, your parents must be wondering where you are," he said with a wry smile.

"I'll be fine," she replied, placing her hands on the handlebars. "They trust me enough." Hermione glanced sideways, shyly eyeing him. "Before I go, Harry…"

"What is it?" Hermione beckoned him to lean him. "What?"

Without warning, she leaned forward, and placed a gentle kiss on Harry's lips. "No matter if you're the 'Boy Who Lived' or 'just Harry', I'll always be by your side. Never forget that, okay? This war we're in is something I want to end, and I have many reasons for wanting to. However, my main reason is to see you safe and happy. I love you, Harry. You're my best friend."

"Hermione…" Harry delicately touched his lips.

His best friend grinned brightly. "Send me a letter, or just call me. Either way, if you want me to visit, I'm just a heartbeat away. Maybe you can even visit my home sometime."

With a start of her engine, Hermione zoomed off on her moped, away from Privet Drive. As he watched her depart, Harry's mind became clear of Voldemort, Dumbledore, Sirius, and all the pressures of being the Boy Who Lived and the Chosen One of the prophecy. In that moment, Harry was just himself, a teenage boy full of hormones with a beautiful girl for a best friend; to him, only one thing was certain:

"Merlin, I think I'm falling for Hermione!"

Afterword: To date, this is my longest one-shot! I might do a sequel, but don't hold your breath. So, what do you think? Typically, I am never the type to ask you for reviews, but I implore you all to give me your opinion of this story. I worked real hard on it, and I have to say I'm really proud of it. Admittedly, this story has been a bit inspired by some of Emma Watson's recent movies where she is a teenager. I wanted to see how being a teenager was like for Harry and Hermione (that didn't involve the god-awful 6th Book). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! Please review! I'll be sure to answer any and all questions.