A/N: The Novel Seedling of a Family Bush, which is mentioned in this chapter, is an actually novel, though it is not published (yet!) For argument’s sake, it’s published at least in Britain.
Also, the snogging about George has a purpose, so, before you flame me for it, wait and see what’s going on. I know this doesn’t make that much sense right now, but give it a chapter or two.
Heather and Ron got back about ten the next morning, brining Heather’s Firebolt with them. She beamed as Harry got out his own. Snape dropped by again, and, to the amazement of all, congratulated Heather and welcomed her into his N.E.W.T. potions class. She smiled at Snape as she shook his hand, and Snape actually smiled back, slightly.
Heather received word from Hogwarts regarding her other classes. Her transcripts had been sent over from her school in America, and she would be taking N.E.W.T. Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Divination (“oh, you’ll love Trelawney”) Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Muggle Studies, Arithmancy, Herbology and Ancient Runes. (“And we thought Hermione was stressed third year! Look at this work load, all N.E.W.T. classes!”)
Life at number 12 continued. The place had been completely cleaned the previous summer, so there was little physical work to be done. They read a lot about the Dark Arts, and Heather absorbed as much as she could about her parents fall and the manner in which her brother overcame Voldemort.
Heather was browsing one day when she stumbled upon a Lockhart book. She snorted and brushed past it, muttering something with sounded like “moron” under her breath.
Ron and Harry laughed, Hermione blushed furiously but said nothing.
An evening about a week before it was time to return to Hogwarts, Fred and George arrived for what they were calling a visit but what the others suspected was really a way to attend the meeting of the Order of the Phoenix. Hermione and Heather sat with Ginny in their bedroom, packing up their clothes for the school year and talking.
“Has anything ever happened with you and my brother?” Heather asked Hermione, who launched into an explanation of the night when Heather and Ron had been gone, and what had happened, and Mr. Weasley walking in on them, and all the other things which had happened. It was evident that Hermione had been bottling this up for some time, waiting to talk to Heather about it.
“What about between you and Ron?” Hermione smirked slightly.
Heather shrugged. “We slept in the same bed...”
Hermione raised her eyebrows. “He slept on his half, I slept on mine, no body fluids were exchanged, and it was nice. When I woke up he was on his half and I was on mine.”
“That’s so sweet....” Hermione squealed. Ginny, who’d been sitting, looking as if she was dying to share what her boyfriend had done, smiled up at Heather.
“It’s about time he got a clue!”
“Who got a clue?” Harry asked from the doorway. Ron was leaning in, looking over Harry’s shoulders.
“Snape,” Heather covered quickly. “About time he learned how awesome Potters are.”
Harry snorted. “Sure.”
“Heather?” Ron asked quietly.
“Yeah?” She was blushing, but it was nothing compared to what Ron was going through.
“Come for a walk with me?”
Heather stood and hurried after Ron. Harry, meanwhile, plunked down on Hermione’s bed and waited for one of the girls to say or do something.
“Well, I have a letter to write...” Ginny hurried out.
“Why does everyone always hurry out when we’re together?” Ron asked Hermione.
She wanted to shrug, she wanted to make a joke. Unfortunately, her tongue was currently debating with her brain over whether Harry would be as wonderful to kiss as she had imagined him.
“Hermione?” Harry asked quietly. She looked up into his green eyes, eyes which, no matter how closely they resembled Heathers, could ever fail to show every emotion he was feeling- if the watcher knew the right was to read.
“Yeah?” She asked quietly.
“What were you and Heather talking about?”
“Ron,” she equivocated. After all, they had discussed Ron.
“Have they done anything?”
“No, and she’s not pushing it either. They’ll get together when it’s time....when things are right. Pushing it is not going to do any good.”
“No, what’s meant to be will be and the wait will seem like nothing.”
“That’s an American who said that originally.”
Harry nodded. “Wrote the novel Seedlings of a Family Bush, did she not?”
“That she did.”
“She’s a wise one.”
“Is she really, Harry?” Hermione looked up at him, her cinnamon eyes alive and the golden flecks within them begging him, taunting him, needing him.
“I don’t know,” he whispered, tilting his head to meet the angle of Hermione’s. He moved closer and she slowly closed her eyes.
[Now or never, Hermione.]
[Now or never, Harry.]
Harry, who had known that what he did with Cho had to be the bottom end of the kissing pleasure spectrum, wanted nothing more than for time to stop right in its tracks so that he would never have to stop kissing Hermione.
She, apparently, having only kissed George Weasley before, could hardly believe that it was the same activity. Harry knew her better, he knew exactly what to do to make her feel as if her whole body had turned to mush, and she him.
Fred, who was walking by, caught sight of them out of the corner of his eye, stopped and looked in as Harry’s hand slid into Hermione’s hair and her hands slid up the back of his shirt. “Bout ruddy time.” Fred mumbled to himself, making a note to tell George that Harry had finally come to his senses.
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