Harry wandered the corridors slowly, aiming towards the library. He knew Hermione would be in there, and he knew she was going to be mad, hence the walking slowly. The problem was, he didn't know how to make her happy again. It wasn't even him that made her mad. No, Ron had that privilege, but of course Harry was the one that had to try and fix things.
He located her, toward the back of the library, sitting at a table surrounded by piles of books. When he reached the table, he cleared his throat, but of course, she ignored him.
"Are you trying to bury yourself in books, Hermione?" he asked quietly, not willing to risk Madam Pince's ire.
"What do you want, Harry, I'm busy," she snapped, clearly still mad.
"Of course you are, you always are these days," Harry replied coolly. He was sick of Hermione and Ron arguing, and him having to then take abuse of both of them.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked, crossly, actually deigning to look up at him.
"Exactly what I say. You're never around anymore, Hermione, you're always here, working, on things that don't actually need working on. I hardly ever see you," he said, taking a seat next to her.
"Of course they need working on, how will I know about these things if I don't read about them. And, as for never seeing me, you could always join me," she said waspishly.
"Oh yeah, that's fun isn't it. Hermione, we don't have to stay on the grounds at the weekend. The Headmistress said we we're allowed off as long as we get back for one. We're eighteen Hermione, live a little," he implored.
"When?" she asked, softening a little bit.
"On Saturday, come on, we'll go to that new club, and drink and dance and just be teenagers. It'll be a giggle," he said with a small smile, hoping it was working.
"Will he be there?"
"Nope, just me and you. Well, I can't promise he wont be in the club, I don't know his plans for the weekend, but we don't have to sit with him or anything. Just us, I can show you my awesome dance moves again."
She chuckled despite herself, remembering the dance they shared in the tent. Nodding, she squeezed his hand in thanks.
"I'll come. Now, go away, I'm reading."
The club was jammed, the music blaring, the bodies of people banging into each other as they danced. Harry had pulled Hermione into the middle of the floor, and they were dancing and having as much fun as everyone else. Harry had seen Ron when they arrived, a blonde he didn't recognise hanging off his arm. He'd rolled his eyes, it was nothing new after all. Ron had taken to fame like a duck takes to water.
A slightly slower song came on, and Harry pulled Hermione closer to him, reveling in the feeling of her in his arms. He had never tried anything with Hermione, believing she thought of him as nothing more than a brother, a thought that had been confirmed with how upset she got every time Ron picked up a new girl. Harry had decided being her friend was better than nothing, and so, that was what he had been. He was her best friend,and that was how it would have to remain.
But as they danced, their bodies so close together, Hermione's head on his shoulder, he couldn't help but want more. He could feel the attraction, the love, the passion he held for her burning him inside, but he was terrified to act on it. As she pulled her head back to look at him, he saw lust in her eyes. Throwing caution to the wind, he kissed her, gently at first until she kissed him back, the passion building between them, as they kissed in the middle of the dance floor. Harry was in heaven. She was kissing him back!
Then, before he knew where he was, he felt a blow to the side of his head, and he fell to the floor. Looking up in confusion, he saw Ron stood over him, glaring at him fiercely. The club bouncer's arrived in seconds, throwing Ron out on his ear. Harry looked at Hermione but the moment was broken, irreparably so, as he saw the look of regret in her eyes.
Getting up, he cast one last glance at her, before walking out of the bar with as much dignity as he could muster.
Harry was sitting in the common room when Hermione arrived back at the school. When she climbed through the portrait hole, he got up, intending on going straight to bed, when her hand on his arm stopped him.
"Why did you leave?" she asked, quietly.
"I saw you regretted it Hermione, I could see it in your eyes.I didn't need you to tell me it was a mistake."
Harry's voice was flat, and he flopped back down on the settee, putting an arm over his eyes. He was waiting up for Ron to get in. There was no way was he just going to let his friend hit him for no reason.
"Harry, I didn't regret kissing you. There more than likely was regret in my eyes, but it was never aimed at you. I was regretting ever wasting my time waiting for that idiot to pull his head out of his arse. I was regretting not seeing what has been in front of me for years. I was regretting not telling you I love you sooner."
Hermione sat down on the edge of the settee Harry was occupying. He lifted his arm and looked at her, a feeling of hope blossoming in his chest.
"Do you mean it?" he asked, almost silently.
She nodded, scooting herself up to kiss him softly.
"I mean it."
The sound of the Portrait banging woke the new couple, who had fallen asleep on the settee. Ron Weasley was fuming, and very drunk as he entered the common room to see his 'best friends' lay beside each other.
Harry and Hermione sat up, Hermione rubbing her eyes. Harry was on instant alert, knowing how quick Ron's temper could be even without alcohol added into the mix.
As the redhead plunged his hand into his pocket, Harry had already shot ropes from his own wand, binding Ron before he could start firing hexes.
"What the hell is the matter with you?" Harry shouted.
"You stole her! You stole my Girlfriend you bastard!"
Harry frowned, glancing between Ron and Hermione. Both looked furious.
"Are you daft? I waited for you when the war was over, waited for you to come to me, to tell me you loved me, to tell me you wanted a relationship. Instead, you started having it off with any girl that would have you, whoring yourself around the school and through Hogsmead. You disgust me Ronald Weasley, and I'm sure as hell not your girlfriend," Hermione raged.
"Why him, Hermione? I was getting it out of my system, thinking you would be happy I was doing it now instead of when we were together, but you couldn't even wait a few month's before you hopped into bed with my supposed best friend. Traitors, both of you," Ron replied angrily, shooting both of them dirty looks.
Hermione had her wand in her hand, intent on cursing Ron to Timbuktu, but Harry stopped her.
"Leave him, he really isn't worth it. Come on, we'll sleep elsewhere tonight, and see the Headmistress tomorrow about me getting a separate room from him. Turning to Ron, Harry sneered.
"There will be a day that you regret this, trust me," he said quietly, waving a hand to release the bonds. As Harry and Hermione climbed out of the portrait hole, Harry looked back at Ron and shook his head.
Five Years Later
Ron sat in the little flat he rented, tear's streaming down his face as he looked at the Daily Prophet. The front page was filled with a Picture of a happy Harry and Hermione, stood in front of a church. Neville was smiling from his place beside Harry, as were Ginny and Luna, both looking beautiful in wedding dresses. One drunken night had cost him his place as Harry's best man. A few months of idiocy had cost him his place at Hermione's husband. Harry had been right in what he said.
The only feeling Ron had was regret.
Written for the Monthly OneShot Competition for prompt #5 Trust