Disclaimer: I own none of the characters. *cries* They all belong to the amazing JK Rowling. I’m just borrowing them for a while – I’ll give them back in one piece…promise!
A/N: Although this book is set in Harry and the gang’s 7th Year, I have decided to ignore book 6. It’s not that I didn’t like it, it’s just that this idea has been playing on my mind since before I read the 6th book (and only now have I got to writing it down, but still…) so certain things that happened in the 6th book do not fit with this story. I hope this doesn’t put you off reading.
Well, enough of me babbling – on with the story:
Hermione looked at the clock and sighed, it read 23.37 and she’d been at this transfiguration essay for the last 2 hours, and she’s only written one side of parchment. Normally, she would have had the essay finished by now, but tonight she was distracted; distracted by a certain dark haired Gryffindor. You see, it was the second week of the summer break and Harry had been forced to return to his Aunt and Uncle’s house, in order to renew his blood protection. But Hermione was worried; she had sent him several owls and although he had replied, his letters tended to be short and clipped, which was so unlike Harry; he normally told her about all the horrible things his aunt and uncle did, or how he couldn’t wait to get out of there. She knew something was bothering him, she could just tell. In her last letter she had actually asked him what was wrong, but she was still awaiting a reply. No doubt he would write and tell her that he was fine and she would then have to wait until she saw him in person before she would get a proper answer, and even then she’d have to badger him for it.
Hermione glanced at the clock again – it now read 23.50. It was Harry’s 17th birthday in 10 minutes - meaning he would be of age in the wizarding world and then he could finally leave the Dursley’s forever and head to Grimmauld Place, which had been left to him in Sirius’ will. She wished she could join him, but her father, having missed her terribly while she had been at school, had made it perfectly clear that he wanted her at home for the majority of her holidays; she was only going to be able to leave for the last week of the summer. She didn’t like the thought of Harry being alone all summer. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but the Weasley’s had gone to visit Charlie in Romania so he’d only really have the company of Remus Lupin, who these days spent half his time at Tonk’s flat.
She marked her page and closed her textbook, conceding that she wasn’t going to get anything more done tonight, well nothing constructive anyway, and made her way to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. On her way back to her room, she was startled to hear the doorbell ring. She drew her wand from the pocket of her dressing gown and made her way downstairs. Through the glass panel in the door she could see a very tall figure, but she couldn’t make out who it was. When she reached the door she peaked through the peep hole to see who was there. When she saw who it was she flung the door open;
“Harry!” she exclaimed, stuffing her wand back in her pocket, before flinging herself at Harry, engulfing him a massive hug.
“Woah!” Harry was little taken aback at the force of Hermione’s hug, but had to admit it felt nice, so he returned it. “It’s nice to see you too,” he replied, with a cheeky smile. Hermione pulled away, embarrassed that she had behaved in such an obvious way.
“Oh, Harry I’m sorry. It’s just, you’ve not replied to any of my letters and I was really worried.”
“It’s okay ‘Mione, really. It’s nice to know I was missed.” Hermione smiled at this; she had missed him, they spent so much time together at Hogwarts that when they were apart it felt like there was a gaping hole in her life.
“Don’t take this the wrong way Harry, but what are you doing here? And come to think of it, how did you get here?”
“I apparated. I’m of age now, remember?”
“But, you don’t have your license. Oh, Harry – unlicensed apparition is a very serious offence, you could be…”
“’Mione, it’s okay: look.” Harry interrupted, waving a piece of parchment in her face. She took it from him and looked down at it; it was his apparition license.
“Wha-, this is dated today, how…”
“Dumbledore figured that I’d want to be out of my Aunt and Uncle’s house as soon as possible so he pulled some strings down at the Ministry and arranged for me to take my apparition test as soon as the clock struck midnight. Personally, I think he still feels guilty about some of the decisions he made for me in the past, so is doing everything he can to make up for it, but I’m not complaining. Anyway, I passed first time with flying colours and then decided to try out this apparition thing, so here I am.”
“But Harry, you’ve never been here before. How did you imagine where you wanted to be?”
Harry blushed slightly, “I just imagined you and hoped to Merlin that I’d arrive in the right place.”
Hermione was touched by that and smiled shyly, but then she realised how risky that had been and she began to reprimand him “Harry, do you know how dangerous that is – you could have splinched yourself. Or ended up somewhere completely different to where you intended.”
“I know, I know but I’m alright,” he spun around slowly in front of her, “see I’m in one piece, all bits present and in working order.” Hermione raised an eyebrow,
“All bits, Harry?” she said suggestively, waggling her eyebrows at him. Harry smiled,
“You just had to lower the tone didn’t you?!” he retorted.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped out in-between giggles, “I just couldn’t resist! Now, are you going to tell me what you and your bits are doing here?” Harry smirked,
“Well, ‘me and my bits’ as you so eloquently put it, have come to invite you to spend the rest of the summer at Grimmauld Place.”
“Ah.” Hermione paused and looked down at the floor. She took a deep breath before continuing, “I can’t Harry, I’m sorry.” Harry’s face fell at this, but he quickly recovered and hoped that Hermione hadn’t seen how disappointed he was at the thought of spending summer alone. Hermione continued, “My dad wants me to stay here ‘til at least the last week of summer. As much as I would love to keep you company over summer, I can’t.” Harry forced a smile in order to try and hide his disappointment,
“Hey, don’t worry about it. I understand; your family must miss you when you’re away,” he said.
“Yes we do,” came a voice from the stairs, startling both of the teenagers.
“Mum!” cried Hermione. “How long have you been there? Did we wake you?”
“I was awoken by the door bell and the heard you talking to someone so came to see what was going on. Hello Harry.”
“Hi, Mrs Granger,” greeted Harry nervously, he’d only really met Hermione’s parents in passing at the train station when they had left for or retuned from Hogwarts. “I’m sorry for waking you. I just came to see if Hermione could spend the summer with me in London but as it appears she can’t I’ll be on my way.”
“Harry, wait.” Mrs Granger insisted, “Let me go and speak to Hermione’s father about the situation. Hermione, take Harry into the kitchen and make him a nice cup of tea or something.” Hermione grabbed Harry’s sleeve and pulled him through the house to the kitchen.
When they reached the kitchen Hermione told Harry to sit at the table while she sorted his drink. He did as he was told and sat watching her as she busied herself with the task at hand. When she stretched to get something out of a high cupboard, her dressing gown fell open and Harry decided that school robes were far too concealing. Hermione was no longer the bushy haired girl she had been – she was turning into a gorgeous woman. She was wearing pyjamas that consisted of very short pair of shorts and quite a tight vest top. Harry could see every curve of her body and he liked what he saw. He felt his body responding to the vision before him and was suddenly glad he was sat down, to save him any embarrassment. This wasn’t the first time Hermione had caused him to react like this; over the past 2 weeks his dreams had been filled with images of his best friend doing things to him that had been decidedly more than friendly. At first the dreams, as nice as they had been, had deeply affected him; why was he thinking these things about his best friend? But then, 2 nights ago – he had an epiphany; on this night his dream had been different; he and Hermione had been married and they were having a child together. When he woke up from this particular dream everything seemed to click into place; he was falling for Hermione – it had happened so slowly that he hadn’t even noticed it. The only thing he’d had to do then was work out what to do about it. Should he tell her? Would she feel the same? I mean they flirted a little and teased each other, but did it mean anything? That was when he decided to invite Hermione to spend the summer with him; surely spending that much time alone together would allow any feelings between the pair to blossom. However, now it looked like that wasn’t going to happen.
“Harry, Harry…are you listening?” Hermione’s voice broke through his thoughts.
“Huh? Sorry Hermione, I was miles away then.” He noticed she’d fastened her dressing gown – he hoped she hadn’t caught him staring!
“I gathered,” she said, smiling. “I asked if you wanted anything to eat? A biscuit or some cake perhaps?”
“Yeah, some cake would be nice, thanks.” Hermione got some plates out of the cupboard and then cut them both a slice of lemon cake. She brought them to the table and took the seat opposite Harry. She reached across the table slowly and placed her hand on top of his,
“Are you okay Harry?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“In your letters you seemed a bit distant, and I just wanted to make sure everything was alright,” she replied. Ah, Harry had thought this might come up when they saw each other again. While he was trying to sort out his feelings for Hermione, he’d decided that it might be best to have as little contact with her as possible, in order for him to try and look at his feelings objectively. So when she had written he’d replied with just enough for her to know he was still in the land of the living, so she wouldn’t apparate over, and then just less then enough to get into any deep conversations. What was he going to tell her? As he was floundering for an answer, Hermione’s mother came back downstairs, much to Harry’s relief and Hermione’s annoyance. She entered the kitchen and addressed Hermione,
“Right then, I’ve spoken to your father and, as I anticipated he doesn’t really want you to spend this summer away...”
“Well, I guess that’s it then,” interrupted Hermione, the disappointment evident in her voice.
“However,” she continued, and both Hermione and Harry looked at her expectantly. “I did manage to convince him that it wasn’t really fair for the both of you to be alone over summer so……he has agreed to let Harry stay here, if he wishes.”
“Really?!” gasped Hermione. “Oh that’s wonderful! I mean, that is of course if you want to stay here Harry?” The chance to spend the whole summer with Hermione; Harry didn’t need to be asked twice.
“I’d love to.”
“Well then, that’s that sorted, I’m off to bed.” Mrs Granger said, “And I suggest that once you’ve shown Harry to his room, that you two should call it a night aswell.”
“Okay Mum,” agreed Hermione, as she moved to hug her Mother, “Goodnight, and thank you for letting Harry stay.”
“Yeah, thanks Mrs Granger. I really appreciate it.”
“That’s no problem Harry. It’s our pleasure. Sleep well.” And with that she left the two of them to sort themselves out.
“Come on Harry, once we’ve cleared the table I’ll show you your room and you can get settled in.” Harry followed her to the kitchen and removed the plates and cups from the table, as Hermione wiped up the cake crumbs, “If you just pop those in the dishwasher, they’ll get washed after breakfast tomorrow.” Harry did as Hermione had instructed and then Hermione led Harry upstairs to show him to his room.
“Here you go, Harry,” she said, opening the door. Harry stepped in and looked around. The room was quite spacious, containing a double bed, a wardrobe, chest of drawers, a bedside table, a desk and three shelve on one of the walls. “All the furniture is empty, so feel free to use it to store your stuff. Actually, that’s a good point, where is your stuff?”
Harry pulled what looked like a miniature Hogwarts trunk out of his pocket and placed it on the floor. He drew his wand, pointed it at the trunk and muttered,
“Finite Incantatem,” and the trunk returned to it’s original size. He turned and winked at Hermione, “Isn’t magic great?”
“Oh, I keep forgetting you’re of age now and can perform magic away from school. Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve said it yet but, Happy Birthday.” She held out her arms inviting him into a hug, which he gladly stepped into. He snaked his arms around her lower back and she raised her arms so they were around his neck. Their embrace lasted for a few minutes, neither one wanting to break contact with the other. In the end it was Harry who released Hermione and stepped away. There was a slight tension between them, which made Harry feel extremely uncomfortable.
“I erm…I think we’d better get some sleep, ‘Mione. I’m beat – it’s been a long day!” She looked a little disappointed, but Harry couldn’t work out if it was because he’d stopped hugging her or whether it was his suggestion of heading to bed.
“Yeah, of course.
“Look., Mione, I’d love to sit up all night with you and catch up on what we’ve been doing since the end of term but I’d probably fall asleep on you, which would be extremely rude. Besides which we have the rest of summer to spend together, I wouldn’t want you to get bored of me too quickly! Hermione smiled,
“Like that’d ever happen,” she muttered to herself.
“Sorry?” asked Harry. Did she just say that?
“Nothing, doesn’t matter,” replied Hermione quickly, realising she’d been heard. She went to the door and opened it, “Anyway, the bathroom is down the hall on the left and my room is the one directly opposite…if you need anything. Good night Harry, sweet dreams.”
Oh, if only she knew how sweet his dreams would be!?
“You too, Mione. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Harry turned around and leant against the door and sighed. Little did he know Hermione had done exactly the same thing when she entered her room.
A/N: Well, that’s the end of chapter one! I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a review and let me know what you thought.