Harry’s good marks in potions weren’t (regardless of what he believed) a direct result of the prince’s book. Without the pressure of Snape breathing down his back, the latent skill he had inherited from his mother began to show itself.
One extremely memorable Potions lesson, Harry found that his text book had gone missing. He suspected Ron had “borrowed” it while he was asleep. Professor Slughorn’s task for the lesson was to brew a complicated pepper up potion, designed to keep you awake for four hours working at your top capacity.
The Potion was NEWT level because it required 40 minutes of continuous anti-clockwise stirring, necessitating working in pairs so one could cut the ingredients at the right time.
Harry was paired with Hermione, for which he was grateful. Hermione upon learning he didn’t have his book was quintessentially happy to be working with her best friend.
Harry moved his cauldron over to Hermione so she didn’t have to mover her heavy book bag and she smiled at him gratefully, which for some really weird reason (that he wasn’t ever going to think about) did odd things to the insides of Harry’s stomach. Hermione was Harry’s best friend, she had inevitably smiled at him countless times in the years they had known each other. Why should today be any different?
Completely befuddled, Harry meekly followed Hermione’s instructions earning him another stomach-squiming smile. Their potion was easily the best in the class, though that was no surprise. As Slughorn indelicately put it,
“Who had a chance when the two brightest students in the year were collaborating?”
Harry watched Hermione curiously as she blushed a very pretty pink at the praise.
As the class was dismissed they set about cleaning up their belongings. Slughorn called them back just before they left the room and gave them both silk beribboned invitations to his Christmas party.
Hermione and Ron were still not talking, in fact Harry hadn’t talked to Ron in a while as well- the main reason being, on certain blonde female. It made Harry wonder whether Hermione still liked Ron. He was nearly positive she did, but then that would make the odd feelings he was having completely inappropriate.
Hermione wasn’t the brightest girl in the whole year for nothing. She had noticed the odd looks and sideways glances Harry had been throwing her. She knew there was only one reason he would pay that much attention to her but she was very confused. Harry liked Ginny- didn’t he? And she was still pining over Ron, wasn’t she?
Hermione had trouble working out her conflicting emotions. Sure she had a thing for Harry, who wouldn’t? He was good looking, noble, kind, loving and the chosen one to boot. But she had long ago resigned him to the shelf of unattainable, the one she would always secretly lust after.
But…. Why would he look at her like that?
In truth, Harry was completely confused. He had for a while now, held a secret flame for Ginny. But when he thought about it he never wanted Ginny to be in danger, he thought of her as Ron’s little sister. He realized in a brief flash of emotional intelligence that his feelings to her were more that of an older brother.
But when he thought of Hermione, it was completely different. Even going into battle against Voldemort there was no one he’d rather have at his side. It wasn’t that he cared about her safety less but he saw her as an equal, rather that someone to be continuously protected.
She had already been through so much, both with him and for him. He never thought twice about going to her with his problems. Hermione had seen him through the hardest trials in his life, because she was always there.
Sure Ron was his best mate, but his feelings about him were totally different to those he felt for the beautiful young witch walking next to him in silence. Deep down, and with the conviction Harry always felt when the made a decision he knew he wanted to take their relationship to a higher level.
Not even considering that Hermione probably didn’t like him in that way, Harry opened his mouth before he lost his nerve
“Uh, Hermione, I was wondering if you’d like to go to this shindig with me… as my date?”
Hermione blushed prettily (how she could blush prettily anyhow was still a mystery) and asked,
Harry blushed as well and ran a hand through his perpetually messy black hair. Suddenly he stopped and he burst out,
“Hell, as my girlfriend. Will you go out with me?” Realising what he’d said Harry shut up and waited with baited breath for Hermione to answer.
Hermione looked at her friend, the one she’d always thought would be out of her reach. Then she thought of her other best friend, the one she thought she’d fallen for and made her decision. She smiled up at Harry and stepping close, rose up on her tip-toes and timidly kissed Harry on the lips. It wasn’t particularly passionate, it wasn’t a fantastic kiss by anyone’s standards but the two would always hold that first kiss in their minds forever because it was a promise.
A promise of forever.
“Yes” she whispered, “I’ll be your girlfriend.”
A/N This is my first Harry/Hermione fic. If you want more then let me know! otherwise it'll just stay as a one-shot.
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