“Do you like it?” Hermione asked putting a self-conscious hand to her head.
After cutting her hair to her shoulders last night, her hair had been bushier than a poodle, but then Angel had ran his fingers through her hair and completely transformed it. Now she had soft smooth shoulder length honey brown waves with streaks of purple highlights through-out.
“It looks amazing. When did you decide to change your hair?”
Tell her that your brush with death gave you a new outlook on life. Angel’s voice sounded within her mind the same as it did when she could see him, soft, wry, and distinctly his.
“After my brush with death, I decided I needed a new look,” Hermione said.
“So it’s true? I heard that you almost drowned in a creek and that Harry had to jump in to save you.” Padma said following Hermione over to the Gryffindor table.
“Where did you hear that?” Hermione asked her sitting down at her usual spot on the Gryffindor table.
“Parvati told me. She supposedly heard it from Creavey and he supposedly overheard Harry talking about the situation with Professor McGonagall. Look, Hermione, I was thinking about it and I realized that we have never really been close friends, but I was hoping that we could change that.”
Oh joy, she thought to Angel.
Be nice, dragonfly, she is trying to be nice. Say thank you.
“Thanks Padma, that sounds great.”
Padma smiled, “You’re such a good person. I felt so terrible, thinking about you alone out there, freezing, and being so brave, trying to save a little kid.” She babbled on.
“Did the find a kid?” Hermione interrupted.
“Huh? No, I don’t think so. Nobody was talking about anything like that last night and I haven’t heard about any student or kid being missing either.”
I told you, dragonfly. Are you satisfied now?
Yes, I am. Sorry.
“It was still really brave of you,” Padma said. “Everyone thinks so.”
Before Hermione could summon up a reply, she was distracted by Ginny plopping down into the seat beside her.
“Hi, girls,” Ginny began, and broke off. She focused on Hermione’s hair. Her mouth fell open.
“Morning Ginny,” Hermione said. She tried to sound careless, but her stomach was clenched like a fist. She held very still. “Do you like it?”
“Wow, you look so much older, like some European model.”
“Where are Harry and Ron?” Hermione asked.
“Harry should be done any minute now,” there was a pause before Ginny continued. “Ron would be coming down.”
“He must be awfully mad at me to miss breakfast.”
“Ron left last night.”
It happened last night while you were asleep.
A lot seems to have happened last night while I was sleeping.
The world’s like that, dragonfly. It keeps on going even when you are not paying attention.
“Anyway, we will talk about it later,” Ginny said giving her a pat on the shoulder. “Are you still coming with us to Hogsmeade for last minute Christmas shopping?”
“I forgot all about the trip,” Hermione responded.
“Hermione, you have to come. It is the last trip to Hogsmeade before Christmas break.” Padma pleaded.
“Okay, just let me go up to my room and change clothes before we head out.” Hermione said standing up from the table.
“Sounds like a plan,” Ginny smiled, “Let’s meet up in main Hall in about half an hour.”
Hermione nodded and smiled making her way up the stairs, into the common room, and up to her room. Opening the door, she saw Angel sitting on her bed holding a bundle in his hands.
“What do you have there?” she asked crossing the room over to him.
“This is what you will be wearing today,” He said while tossing her the bundle.
Catching the bundle, Hermione looked down at what he had picked out for her. With a shrug she headed into the connecting bathroom to change clothes. A few minutes later she stepped out wearing black hipsters and a black camisole. Over it was a sheer black shirt, worn loose. She had on flat black boots and a black watch, and that was all she had on.
“Well, I am sure to turn heads wearing this. I never wear black, plus shouldn’t I be wearing a sweater on top?”
“You look terrific, dragonfly, you are going to wear this black cloak outside it will keep you plenty warm,” pointing to the cloak lying on the bed beside him.
Angel stood up grabbing the cloak and glided up behind Hermione, placing the cloak over her shoulders. His hands lightly caressed her arms, leaning in to whisper in her ear, “Prefect, All set to go.”
Hermione blew him a flying kiss over her shoulder as she made her way across the room to the dorm room door.
“Wait, I almost forgot,” Angel said fishing in his pockets pulling out a small compact and a tube of lipstick. “Put this on,” he said tossing her the compact and lipstick.
She put on the lipstick. It was red, not orange-red or blue-red, but red red, the color of holly berries or Christmas ribbon. It made her lips look fuller, somehow, almost pouty. Hermione pursed her lips, considered her image a second in the mirror, then kissed the compact mirror lightly and snapped it shut.
“Thanks,” she called back to him, heading out of the room and down the stairs into the common room. She was at the edge of the entrance when she heard someone call her name.
“Hermione, wait up,” Harry called. “Let’s walk down together.”
“Alright,” she responded with a smile.
It only made sense to go with Harry; after all, he was her best friend. Hermione passed through the entrance and turned around to wait for Harry to follow behind her. When she did, her breath stopped completely. Harry had stopped in his tracks just outside the Gryffindor entrance and had a look on his face that she’d never seen on any guy’s face before, not even Ron. She’d seen it, occasionally when guys were looking at other girls, girls at school like Ginny Weasley.
It was a stricken gaze, a compulsive movement of the throat, an expression that almost made you sorry for them, an “I’m lying down and I don’t care if you walk on me”, type of expression and Harry was looking at her that way. Immediately all her fear was swept away.
Her heart was still pounding and little waves of adrenaline were still going through her, but now what it felt like was excitement, heady, buoyant anticipation. It was as if she had started on the roller coaster ride of her life. Harry actually had to shake himself before he remembered where he was at and started walking beside her. On the way down the stairs toward the main entrance he kept sneaking glances at her out of the side of his eye.
“You did something to your… and your…” He made a vague motion near his own head.
“Yeah, I cut and colored my hair,” she said. She meant to sound careless and sophisticated, but it came out shaky, with a little laugh at the end.
She tried again, “I have been thinking about doing it for a while now.”
Harry glanced at her as if to say he disagreed with that, but it wasn’t a disapproving glance. It was more like electrified awe and a sort of discovery that seemed to grow every time he looked at her. They walked in silence for a while. Hermione forced herself to stare at the walls and at the paintings they passed. It was strange how different everything looked today. Yesterday the halls had been lonely and desolate to her, and now it seemed calm and comfortable.
“Listen,” Harry said abruptly, pulling her into the nearest empty classroom. “There’s something I have to say.”
Hermione’s heart now seemed to be beating everywhere, in her throat and her fingertips and her ears. She had a dream like sensation that her body wasn’t solid anymore, that she was just floating mass of heartbeat. Her vision shimmered, as she waited for her to speak.
“Do you remember the first time we met?” He asked.
“Of course I do.”
I had been eight years ago; she’d been eleven and tiny for her age with a huge mop of bushy hair. She had been going from compartment to compartment helping Neville find his pet toad. When she had opened the door to his compartment she had only meant to ask about Neville’s toad and then leave, but when she saw that the red headed boy was attempting magic, she just had to stay and watch.
The red headed boy waved his wand, but the rat stayed his steel gray color.
"Well, that wasn't a very good spell. I have been trying a few spells just for practice and they have worked for me. I am the first witch in my family. I was so excited when I received my letter; I have already learned all our course books by heart. I am Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
"I'm Ron Weasley," the red headed boy muttered.
"Harry Potter," The boy with the messy black hair answered.
"Really," she said. "I know all about you, you are in Modern Magical History."
"Goodness, didn't you know," Hermione said surprised. If it had been her she would have found out everything she could. "Do either of you know what House you are going to be in? I hope that I will be in Gryffindor, but Ravenclaw sounds good as well. Anyway, I best get back to looking for Neville's toad. You two had better change, you know, I expect we'll be there soon."
“Well, back then, I sort of got the wrong impression,” Harry was saying. “I thought you were a book worm know it all and a bit of a snob. Even after we became friends, I only seemed to see you as a brain and more fragile, than you are.”
There was a pause, and then he said wonderingly, not quite looking at her, “During the war, I began to realize that you weren’t as fragile as I thought you were, that there was so much more to you than I ever imagined. Then yesterday I found you in that clearing frozen and almost at death’s door, but all you could think about was that missing kid and it made me realize that even more.”
Hermione understood. Harry didn’t have a reputation for being brave for nothing. He liked girls who were as bold and dashing as he was. If he were a knight in shining armor, he wouldn’t end up with some silly pampered princess. He would end up falling in love with a female knight or maybe even a daring robber, somebody who could share the adventure with him, who was just as tough as he was. At the same time he had a strong protective streak.
“Now, it’s like…” he continued. “I mean, you’re….” He held his hands up in a whoa type motion. He wasn’t looking at her at all but looking down at his shoes.
“You are kind of incredible,” Harry said. “I feel really stupid for not noticing it before and for not telling you sooner.”
Hermione couldn’t breathe. There was something going on between them, a kind of quivering electricity. The air was so thick with it that she felt pressure all over her. She had never been so awake before, but at the same time she felt as if most of the world was insubstantial. Only she and Harry were real. Hermione couldn’t move.
“So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that, if I have ever done or said anything to hurt your feelings these past few years then I am truly sorry, and that I really see you now.”
He raised his head, looking straight into her brown eyes, his body leaning in towards her, and Hermione suddenly realized he was going to kiss her. Hermione felt triumph, wild excitement, and something deeper. An emotion she couldn’t describe because there just weren’t any words in the English dictionary to use for it.
Harry was looking at her, and it was almost as if she could see through his emerald green eyes, as if she could see inside him and see the way things looked to him. What she felt was a little like discovery, a little like déjà vu, and a little like waking up and suddenly realizing its Christmas. At the same time it felt like being a kid lost in a strange place, cold and bewildered, and then suddenly you are hearing your mother’s voice calling you back home, but it wasn’t like any of those things; it was so much more.
She couldn’t quite put it all together, because there was nothing like it in her experience. She had never heard of anything like this, but she had the feeling that when Harry kissed her, she would be able to figure it all out and it would be the revelation of her life.
Harry was moving closer to her, moving slowly as if compelled by something he couldn’t control. Hermione had to look down, but she didn’t move back or turn her face away. He was close enough now that she could hear his breath and feel him. Her eyes shut of their own accord. She waiting to feel the touch of warmth on her lips, but something stirred in the back of her mind, a tiny whisper so far back that she could barely hear it, and she couldn’t tell where it had come from.
The shock went through her whole body like being dumped into a cold bath of ice water. Part of her wanted to ignore it, but she was already pulling away, putting a hand up, lowering her head to stare at her black boots.
“I can’t. I mean not like this. It isn’t fair to Ginny.” She said.
“I know,” Harry sounded as if he’d been hit with ice on bare skin, or as if he’d come up from deep water and was looking around dazedly.
“You’re right. I don’t know what I was… it just…it was like I forgot…” he stammered. “I’m not that kind of guy. I mean, it looks like I am right now, but I’m not. I made a promise to Ginny and…”
Oh no, Angel, Help!
I was wondering when you would remember me again.
He made her a promise!
Of course he did, they have been going together for a while now.
I feel terrible.
It’s going to be fine dragonfly, for now don’t worry about it.
Dully, Hermione said, “I know. I guess we better get moving, everyone is probably waiting for us.”
They walked in silence, and Hermione sank deeper and deeper into depression. She had thought it would be so easy, just show Harry her new self and everything would fall into place, but it wasn’t like that. Ginny was her friend, she just couldn’t do that to her.
Don’t worry about it dragonfly, I have it all planned out.
I will tell you about it when the time is right.
Angel, are you mad at me because I forgot about you?
Of course not, I am here to arrange things so that you can forget me.
However, Hermione couldn’t push away that feeling that he was mad at her, or at least surprised, as if something unexpected had happened, but she didn’t have time to dwell on it. Up ahead she could see Ginny, Neville, Padma, and Luna waiting for them so that they could all head to Hogsmeade.
“What took you guys so long?” Ginny asked as they joined the group.
“It was my fault; I saw Harry as I was going up to change and asked him to wait for me, so I could have someone to walk with. I guess it took longer for me to decide on what to wear than I thought it would. Sorry guys.” Hermione responded quickly repeating what Angel whispered into her ear to say.
“Oh, well while we were waiting for the two of you we decided that we would pair off to shop for the others. Then we could meet up in the Three Broomsticks for lunch and regroup before finishing our Christmas shopping.” Ginny said, taking hold of Harry’s hand and giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“Hermione, you will be with me, Harry with Ginny obviously and Neville with Luna, at least until lunch.” Padma spoke up while wrapping an arm through Hermione’s and pulling her along.
“Sounds like a plan.” Hermione responded, letting Padma drag her away from the others and towards a carriage.
Off to Hogsmeade they go.
**Flashback, came from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone, as much of it I could remember. I know in the movie Hermione fixes Harry's glasses, but in the book she didn't so I decided to go with the book version of their first meeting.
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