Chapter 1 : Casual: Defined
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Disclaimer: The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.
Summary: “What the hell is this?” “I believe that it is a note that says that I’m tired,” she replied.
“What the hell is this?”
Hermione winced when she heard the sound of the door slamming—following his abrupt, and rather unwanted, entrance. She sighed, closing her eyes as she pinched the bridge of her nose. “I believe that it is a note that says that I’m tired,” she replied, her voice as calm as she could muster, despite her feeling the overwhelming urge to pout, cry, wallow, and do all sorts of whiny-womanly things. God, to think she’d once mocked those sorts of women.
“Oh how the mighty have fallen,” she bitterly thought to herself.
“Where the fuck did that suddenly come from because it sure as hell didn’t seem as if you were ‘tired of this’ this morning when you were moaning my name!” Harry fumed, slamming the paper down onto her desk and glaring at her.
“Don’t be so crude, Harry,” Hermione chastised him with a hard look before letting out another strangled breath. “I’m just… I’m tired,” she repeated, exhausted.
He felt his head spinning when he heard her utter those finite words, and he was at a complete loss as to what to do next. That morning, when he’d left bed to take a quick shower, he certainly hadn’t expected her to just up and leave like that, much less so with a note like that. It wasn’t supposed to be like that, things were different. Or, maybe, so he’d thought.
It had started as any affair would, he supposed. It had been a misaimed kiss at the strike of midnight on New Year’s which had left them both with the severest of repercussions: a heady snog that soon led to the two of them stumbling into bed together. The following morning had been awkward to be sure, but, nevertheless, they were both single and had had nothing to feel guilty about—especially when the shag was as fantastic as that—so they’d both agreed to give it a go at a no strings sort of thing. That had been January first and it was already mid-April, had he been so wrong to think that things had changed even if they’d never truly solidified anything? Had he been naïve in thinking that after she’d given him his own toothbrush at her flat—back in early March—that things were official?
He didn’t know what to think, what to say. All he knew at that point was that it hurt; it hurt far more than it should if they really were just fuck-buddies.
He just gaped at her, allowing himself to fall into the seat that sat behind him and across from her. “H—how—why—?” he babbled on nonsensically.
She shrugged. “I can’t do this anymore, Harry… come on, we both knew it couldn’t last long.”
“Who says?!” he demanded, tone huffy and petulant.
She paused for a minute and he could almost see the cogs in her head turning as she collected herself before replying. “It’s just sex, that sort of thing always has an expiration date.”
That had hurt, not that he would admit it to her—definitely not after the way that she was so easily able to just wave off their… well whatever the fuck they were.
“So… so that’s it? That’s all that we ever were?”
She shrugged, again. “We made a deal in the beginning, Harry; we both agreed that when one wanted out there’d be no questions asked.”
“Well fuck the deal!” he roared, slamming his fist down onto her desk so hard that she couldn’t help, but jump back a bit in surprise when she heard the crackling sound of static from an uncontrollable burst of magic that he let out. “I want to know what the hell I did wrong here, Hermione.”
She sighed, shaking her head sympathetically. “You did nothing wrong, Harry, I just… I want—I need more than this.”
“More?” he repeated, absolutely dumbfounded.
She nodded mutely, nervously biting her lip.
“Well what more is there that I can’t give you?”
Her eyes widened ever so slightly; she certainly hadn’t been expecting that reply. “I want something substantial, Harry, a real relationship… something more than sex.”
“That… that’s all that we were?” he asked. “Just… just sex?”
“Well weren’t we?”
“I didn’t think so… not anymore at least,” he admitted, taking a huge leap of faith when he uttered those words, and he would openly admit that the imminent prospect of rejection scared the holy fuck out of him.
“Harry…” she sighed, licking her lips as she recollected herself. “I can’t be this girl… I never was the sort, but I—I wanted to be her… for you, I wanted to try to be her.”
His gaze softened, turning from one of abject fear to a hopeful smile. He got up out of his seat and made his way to her side of the desk. She stared at him fearfully, eyes wide with a passionate trepidation, when he turned her chair to face him and kneeled down before her.
“Wh—what are you doing?” she stuttered, gasping for air when she felt him place an open mouth kiss on one of the hands that had previously been limply lying across her lap.
“Shh,” he murmured, his lips still fused to her palm as he took her other hand within his and toyed with her fingers, entwining them. “Just let me woo you.”
Her back stiffened in shock. “Woo?” she repeated.
He nodded mutely, blowing a raspberry into her palm—an act that earned a surprised chuckle from her.
Still, though, she forced herself to remain strong. “Harry,” she gasped, “Harry, don’t do this to me… don’t toy with me unless you’re serious about it… don’t break my heart.”
He raised his head, looking her straight in the eyes. “I can't pinpoint the exact date of it, but I think we can both agree that somewhere along the way this became more and I promise you that I won't let some fucking pansy arse prat like Boot or pinch-faced-Finch take you from me. It’s not happening, Granger, you’re mine,” he promised, his voice growing feral once he reached that last word.
“Y… you saw that?”
“You mean Boot trying to maul you last week and Finch-Fletchey mooning after you in the break room yesterday morning? Yes, of course I did, I keep tabs on you, Hermione—and please don’t go off on some blasted feminist spiel about how you can take care of yourself because I know that, I just like to see you every once in a while… especially when you’re wearing shoes like these…” he drawled, sending an appreciative glance towards her legs, taking great care to notice how well her pumps accentuated them. “I have many plans for these, I hope you realize,” he informed her as he trailed a finger down her leg before moving to trace the outline of the shoe.
A rouge tint crept up her face as she listened to him. “You do?” she asked him with a coy smile, running her hands through his hair as she spoke, tugging on it lightly just like she knew he loved.
He moaned as she laved attention onto his hair. “Mhm,” he hummed, letting his eyes fall shut. “Many, many…”
“Good to know,” she smirked, leaning down until her mouth was leveled with his ear. “Well then, how about we leave work early today… one time can’t kill us, can it?”
His lids snapped open and his eyes almost popped out of their sockets when he heard that most surprising, in an absolutely brilliant way, proposition. “Well… we are rather devoted workers, I’d say we deserve a little break now and then…” he returned her smirk.
She smiled at him fully, taking his hand when he proffered it to her after raising himself up off the ground. “Just one question though… you weren’t really considering them, were you? I mean, just imagine, Hermione Boot or Hermione Fich-Fletchey…”
Hermione only smiled in reply, sashaying away without bothering to answer.
author’s note: so this was actually more for practice in trying out a more detail oriented prose as mine is usually more dialogue-driven in every respect and here I tried to explain the general situation through other means instead. Not too sure about how that turned out, but hopefully it was enjoyable enough.
Thank you, and please review.
Thank you so much to my wonderful beta, Searcy, for looking over this piece!