Happy Birthday Hermione

Author: Nacey

Author email: tosh@opera.iinet.net.au

Category: schmoopy foofness

Keywords: Harry Hermione Cuteness

Spoilers: None really to speak of, but don't read unless you've read them all anyways.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: It's Hermione's Birthday, and she's not particularly happy.

Disclaimer: It all belongs to the utterly brilliant J.K. Rowling and other such parties that have a legal financial interest in Harry Potter. This was undertaken with no thought to profit whatsoever.

Author's Note: I did this as a 'present' for Hermione. It's just a bit of schmoopy littleness for fun. If you want a longer, more heavy (and I mean heavy in an angsty/humour/all round moreness way) fic. *evil grins* It's coming sooooon. ^_^

For Hermione - A great hero for the little girls in the world. Happy Birthday.

~~*~~

She was very quiet that morning. It was something Harry had noticed right away. It didn't help that Ron was being his usual bright and boisterous self as if it were any other day. The entire day went like this, and now it was the afternoon. Harry had to fight to keep the smirk off his face. Hermione was throwing herself into her work, that little wrinkle of concentration (possibly something else?) deep in her brow. She was in her usual spot on the floor of the Common Room, surrounded by books, mumbling to herself every now and again. Harry sat across from her at the coffee table she was stationed at, leaning on a hand.

"What's wrong?"

She glanced up. "Wrong? Why would you think anything was wrong?" She sounded vaguely irrational.

"You're hiding."

She looked about herself. "You can see me can't you?"

Harry smiled a little. "Yes but you're not all here."

"What a lovely thing to say," she muttered before pulling a book up in front of her and perching it so it created a wall between her and Harry's face.

He couldn't help but grin at that. From his robes he slipped the gift he'd been hiding from her all day, wrapped in deeply gold paper and bound with a ruby-red ribbon. He placed it on the top of the pile of books just next to her, card in place, and just sat there and waited. It was getting unbearably hard keeping silent. He could hear her mumbling to herself about her homework every now and again ("What? Yarrow roots? Why on earth would I...? Oh. Who wrote this bloody thing, an idiot? That should have been mentioned in the first paragraph! Honestly!") and reaching out for a book whilst her face was still buried in the one in front of her. He held his breath as her hand reached out, but it would stop and dart back. He would always sigh at that. After a little while of this, the book separating him and Hermione slammed down, and she scowled at him.

"Harry. Are you going to sit there for hours sighing repeatedly and being generally creepy or was there something you actually wanted?"

"Not sure," Harry said. "While I make up my mind, why don't you keep studying?"

She tilted her head at him, looking thoroughly bewildered by his strange behaviour, and shaking it she dropped her hand down on the pile of books next to her. She stopped. Her eyes moved slowly and looked to the smooth sleek thing under her hands.

She gulped, hand shooting to her mouth.

"Oh Harry!" she gasped. Harry only grinned at her as she picked up the beautifully wrapped gift on the pile of books, cradling it like it was really made of gold. "I thought you'd forgotten!"

"As if," Harry said, still smiling stupidly. "Are you going to ogle at it all day or are you actually going to open it?"

She sniffled, eyes red about the edges, and she placed it on top of her scrolls, taking extra care as she opened it. Harry sighed at this.

"Just rip it open!"

"Oh but it's such nice paper," she said.

"I'll buy you an entire roll of it on its own, how's that?" he said, grabbing for it.

"No!" she scolded, and slapped Harry's hands away. "It's not the same paper. Look, I've nearly gotten it open see? There we go... Oh my... Harry!" She pulled the gift from the folds of paper, and the rim of red in her eyes burgeoned to fully-fledged quivering tears. "It's beautiful!" She giggled then. "You cheeky sod!"

In her hands was a very old, worn book. It was bound with real leather, scuffed and musty, and the pages turned with a loud crackle. They were thick and stained with age, and the words were the uneven sprawl of the earliest kinds of typesetting printing machines. The cover of the book was gilded with a chipped and faded gold, but it could still be read. //Pixies, Nixies and the Fey, and How Best to Deal With Them.// She clutched the book in her hands, leafing through the pages in awe.

"Harry, this book must be a hundred years old!!"

"A hundred and fifty," he said.

"Oh my," she gasped.

"Look here," he said, turning the book to its first leaf in the book with the edition information on it. A much newer piece of parchment stuck out, and she laid it down flat. It was a message! Harry blushed when she noticed it. "Oh... I didn't want to write in the book since it was so old. I thought I'd just slip a note in there instead."

Hermione smiled a little, and she read it.

//Dear Hermione,

You've always been there for me, and you've always known what I've needed when I was down. Without you, I think I'd be a very sorry Harry. Have a very Happy Sweet 16th.

-Harry.//

"Oh!" she whimpered a little, fighting the tears that had welled in her eyes. "Thank you!" Without another word she clambered about the table and flung her arms about Harry in a tight hug. It had always been rather embarrassing for him when she'd done this, but given the fact that she was now a young woman and so was endowed with all the appropriate (and admittedly rather lovely) girl parts, it made him blush the kind of red he reserved for being told his pants zipper was undone by Draco Malfoy in front of the entirety of the school. He patted her back with an unsure smile, wondering what the nice smell in her abundant hair was.

Well. Harry made a good attempt at thinking about something other than the fact that Hermione was hugging him madly and making squeaky noises that indicated how very touched and gleeful she was. Okay...she seemed utterly relieved, and that was a very good thing. Of course she had been so very upset before, the kind of sad he was expecting when she didn't get any presents at all. With the agreement he and Ron made on how to give Hermione her gifts that day, he expected her to have found Ron's by now. "So did Ron not give you his present yet?" Harry asked, wondering why Ron had delayed.

"Of course he did," she said. "He left it on my bed in the girls' dorms. He could have gotten in big trouble if he had have been caught!"

"Oh..." Harry frowned. "Then... why were you so upset?"

She blinked at him, tilting her head. "Harry! Why do you think?"

Harry shook his head and shrugged.

"I told you," she said, "I thought you'd forgotten!"

Harry looked confused, which illustrated his view that her upset was disproportionate to the event of him forgetting to tell her Happy Birthday. After all, he expected her to be slightly miffed, but he wasn't that important, was he?

"Of course I didn't forget," he said lightly. "And even if I did, I'm not worth getting that upset over."

Hermione blushed at that. "You are." She looked suddenly bashful. "I don't know... Sometimes I feel like you're the only one that understands me. The only one that doesn't find me dull or infuriating or-" She stopped herself, sighing and shaking her head with an embarrassed smile. "Never mind."

"I think you're great," he said.

She smiled sadly. "Exactly. And I don't even have to try."

"Don't," he said. "I rather prefer you the way you are."

She smiled again, and hugged him tight. "Thanks Harry."

"It's all right," he said warmly. "Happy Birthday Hermione."

~~*~~