Hermione was in her room finishing up some notes before she had her outing with Viktor for coffee. She could hear Jo laughing loudly in the other room with Ron and Harry. She was happy that her cousin was having a blast, but didn’t know how to tell her cousin to back off some. She really didn’t want to go out with Viktor, but felt it was pointless to think about that anymore. She glanced up at the clock on the wall and it read 3:00. She looked down at what she was wearing and she was still in her outfit from before. She felt that this was fine for coffee. She ran a brush through her hair and tried her best to tame it. She put away her notes for Monday and headed out the door. She opened her bedroom door only to be greeted by Ginny. Ginny threw her arms around Hermione, “Hi! I’m back from Romania with my folks.”
“Ginny! It’s so good to see you!” Hermione said.
“First things first… Before we go back out there to the living room, you have to tell me, what’s up with your cousin?” Ginny said as she walked into Hermione’s bedroom and closed the door behind her.
“What do you mean? She’s here for a visit. What did she do?” Hermione said with a smile that was not convincing Ginny.
“She’s practically all over Ron and Harry.” Ginny said.
“Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Yes, Harry, too. Although Ron seems to be the only one acknowledging her flirtatious ways right now. Harry almost seemed relieved to see me come through the door and almost wanted to come back here too.” Ginny said and then added, “What’s this about a date with Viktor I hear?”
“Oh my Merlin! I know, I can’t believe that I actually have to go hang out with him. I did not plan this, it’s all Jo. She is very sneaky. She got a tattoo – one of those, ‘who do you like’ ones.” Hermione said.
“So, who does it say?” Ginny asked.
“Harry Potter”, Hermione said.
“How do you feel about that?” Ginny asked.
“It kind of made me mad.” Hermione said.
“Mad? Why?” Ginny asked. “Look, Hermione. It’s good that you are finally dealing with these feelings about Harry. I have known you for so long and I know that you like him. I just want you to be able to admit it and be happy. Besides, I think that he likes you too.” Ginny added.
“I don’t like him. Not like that. Well, I don’t think that I do.” Hermione said pacing. “I have to get going if I’m going to meet Viktor on time and get this little so-called-date over with.” Hermione said.
“You can’t fool me; I’m your best friend.” Ginny said.
“I know, you don’t know how good it is to see you. How was Romania?” Hermione asked.
“It was wonderful. Neville came to visit while I was over there which was very sweet of him.” Ginny happily said.
“That’s great!” Hermione responded.
There was a knock at Hermione’s door and Hermione spoke loudly, “Come in”.
Harry stood in the doorway as he pushed open the door. He looked at Hermione and Ginny and said, “Hate to break up the reunion, but Viktor is here for his date with Hermione.”
Harry tried to show that he did not care, but Ginny saw through it instantly. She wondered to herself, ‘will my two friends ever see what’s in front of them?’ She walked over to Harry and patted him on the arm and whispered, “Don’t worry, it’s not a date.” Before Harry could respond, Hermione was walking past him into the living room.
“Hermione, I wanted to come early, hope you don’t mind.” Viktor said with his hand extended with a red rose towards her.
“Thanks Viktor, you shouldn’t have.” Hermione said modestly as she took the rose and placed it on the table. She felt like all eyes were on them and she was right. Everyone had become suddenly silent. “Let’s go, see you all in a bit.” Hermione said as she headed out the door and waved at everyone. She looked at Harry who was still standing in her bedroom doorway looking upset. She told herself that she would need to talk to Ginny later about that.
Once outside, Viktor escorted Hermione to a nearby coffee shop. He was a very polite gentleman. Holding doors, pulling her chair out for her, etc. Hermione sat and folded her arms in front of her. She glanced around the coffee shop and then looked at Viktor. He was beaming. She felt guilty for being there with him. She did not want to lead him on.
“Hermione, you look beautiful.” Viktor said reaching for one of her hands.
Hermione pulled her hands into her lap and said, “That’s nice of you to say.”
Viktor noticed the snub and said, “Do you want to be here with me?”
Hermione smiled and said, “Of course, as friends, though. I don’t want you to think that there is something between us.”
Viktor was confused. “Why did you say you’d come?” he asked.
“I did want to come. It’s good to see you. I just want you to know that the only thing that will ever be between us is a friendship. I hope that you are okay with that.” Hermione said.
Viktor looked down at his coffee in front of him and knew that she was right. He knew that Hermione would not have any feelings like that for him after so much time had passed. He did value her as a friend and hoped that they would be close friends. Perhaps one day, more than close friends. He looked back up at Hermione and smiled and said, “I am okay with that.”
Hermione was thrilled, but didn’t want to show it too much.
Back at Hermione’s….
Ginny, Ron, Jo, and Harry were all sitting in the living room talking about Ginny’s trip. Ron wanted to hear about Charlie and the dragons he was working with now. This fascinated Harry as well. Jo was bored with the talk of dragons. She tried to squeeze in beside Harry on the sofa but Harry didn’t really leave a lot of room for that. Instead, Harry just looked at Jo and said, “I’m sitting here. There’s another seat over there.”
“Oh, well, I thought that I could sit next to you.” Jo said with a wink.
“That’s alright.” Harry said and then focusing his attention back to Ginny and Ron.
This pissed Jo off, she stood and felt embarrassed. She always got the boy she wanted, what was she doing wrong. Why wasn’t Harry pawning over her like Ron was. This made no sense to her at all. She would just have to try harder. She reluctantly went and sat in the open seat next to Ginny. Ginny finished her stories and Ron said, “Why don’t we all go out tonight to dinner, well, when Hermione gets back of course.”
“I’m sure that she’ll be gone all night, the way she was talking about Viktor earlier.” Jo said.
Ginny looked at Jo and said, “What? Are you completely mental? Hermione does not like Viktor in that way. Besides, she’ll be back soon enough. We can wait for her.” Ginny turned and smiled at Harry who was watching the conversation intently.
Jo felt like she just couldn’t win. She wasn’t getting her way. She didn’t like this one bit. Ginny went over to kitchen to look at the local restaurants and see where she wanted to go. She called Harry over to help her decide.
“Harry, it’s good to see you.” Ginny said.
“Good to see you too, Gin” Harry said. “Now, why did you call me over here?”
“I felt that you needed a break from Jo.” Ginny said with missing a beat and then added, “Or did you enjoy that.”
Before Harry could respond, Ginny added, “Just kidding. Well, sort of. I wanted to talk to you about a friend of ours.”
“Who might this be?” Harry said.
“I think you know her, she’s a bit taller than me, brown eyes, curly brownish hair, and is crazy about you.” Ginny said adding in the last bit to see if Harry caught on.
“What was that?” Harry said dropping the menu he was looking at.
“You heard me”, Ginny said with a small grin.
“How do you know that, did she tell you?” Harry asked quickly.
“Not exactly, let’s just say I know some things.” Ginny said and then said, “How do you feel about her?”
“I don’t know. I truly love our friendship and wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt it. But, lately, I just feel that she’s all I can think of and I just want to tell her that I…” Harry said and then stopped.
“Tell her what?” Ginny said placing her hand on his arm.
“I rather tell her. That is, if I ever get the chance too. Supposedly, she’s into Viktor.” Harry said.
“I wouldn’t bet on that.” Ginny said and then added in a whisper, “What are your thoughts on Jo?”
“She’s definitely different. I think that your brother is in love.” Harry whispered back and then the both of them looked into the living room to see Ron and Jo talking about something. Ron was listening to every single word with such great purpose. They both looked back at each other and nodded and almost laughed.
Harry looked up at Ginny and said, “You are her best friend, would you tell me if I had no chance at all?”
“Of course I would, you are my best friend too.” Ginny said with a pat on Harry’s hand.
“When are you going to talk to her?” Ginny said as she raised her eyebrows.
“I honestly can’t say, I have to figure out what I’m going to say. It’s not exactly easy.” Harry said. Harry looked at the wall mounted clock and wondered where she was. It was 5:00.
Ron and Jo joined them in the kitchen and Ron asked, “Did you decide yet? I’m starving.”
“I really think that it’ll be okay if we just go ahead on without Hermione, she might be a while.” Jo said looping her arm in Harry’s. He tried to pull away gently which only caused Jo to grab on tighter. Ron didn’t know why Jo was doing that, but he was getting upset about it.
“Whatever, let’s go. We’ll leave a note for Hermione. She can join us later.” Ron said walking towards the door.
Ginny walked over to Ron and said, “What’s wrong?”
“Why is she always clinging onto him and he doesn’t even try to get away? Does he like her?” Ron said.
Ginny laughed out loud at the hilarity of it all. Hermione liked Harry and was on a date with Viktor which she didn’t really want to be. Harry liked Hermione but couldn’t tell her for whatever reason. Ron liked Jo and Jo liked Harry.
“What’s so funny?” Ron said.
“Nothing. Look, Harry’s not into Jo”, whispered Ginny.
Ginny placed her hand on Ron’s arm and said, “Trust me on this one. Okay.”
Ron felt reassured as he knew that Ginny would tell him the truth.
Jo and Harry came towards the door and Harry said, “I’ll wait here for Hermione and meet you all at the restaurant.” Jo did not like that at all.
“What if she is really late? You’ll miss dinner.” Jo said pulling on Harry’s arm.
“Jo, I’m waiting for her. You all go on ahead.” Harry said stepping back and pulling his arm away from her.
Ginny smiled and grabbed Jo’s arm and pulled her out the door. Ginny said, “We’ll just be around the corner at the Irish Pub.”
Ron smiled too, and waved back at Harry. Harry waved back. They closed the door and Harry finally felt like he could breathe. He would have to sit Jo down and just tell her that he didn’t like her that way.
He went to go sit down in the living room and wait.