It happened every year since Harry can remember, from fourth year on. They would secretly meet, confide in each other and steal a kiss, or even more if they were lucky. There were no feelings, as it was understood, and both of them kept quiet. Neither told a soul. They wouldn’t dare for fear of being criticized, or worse: talked about. No, this was something kept a secret, a deep dark secret that you told no one, not even your best friend. Although, she was his best friend, so what would it matter what they did? As long as there are no feelings involved, that was always the promise he would make. Always.
Fourth Year, the Day Before the Third Task
“Harry,” started Hermione, “can we talk together? Privately?”
“Of course, anything you need, Hermione. Meet me in the common room at midnight,” replied Harry.
“NO,” she said, “I said and meant privately. How about the observation tower?”
“It’s a plan.”
That night, they met up. The observation tower was completely empty, not a student or professor in sight in or around the tower. All was quiet.
Hermione began; “Victor Krum is an interesting man. Not loquacious, but rather observant. He seems to be set on learning about me through watching me. It’s a bit annoying, actually. Having him staring at me while I study makes school the last thing on my mind. Not to mention, he doesn’t even show much affection. I get a small kiss hello, then, nothing. God, it’s frustrating!
“Not to mention Ron’s being a foul git lately! All he does is give me disapproving glares and sneers every once in a while. What’s his problem? I should be mad at HIM for the way he yelled at me after the Yule Ball. That boy, he’s so confusing! One minute, he’s frustrated he can’t take me to the Ball, and the next, he’s feeding me lies regarding Victor! Honestly, Harry, I’m not sure how much longer I can stand this!”
Harry took a moment to take in what she had said. He decided carefully on his reply: “Hermione, if Krum doesn’t seem right for you, you can always tell him so. Breaking up isn’t so hard, you know. But, if you really are set on him, you can always tell him what you want or need, you know, physically. You deserve to be loved, Hermione. You’re a special girl.
“As for Ron, he’s just jealous you’ve found someone and he hasn’t. He has feelings for you, you know.”
“I’ll believe that when pigs fly.”
“I guess I’ll add that to my list of things to make happen before I die.”
They both shared a laugh, and Hermione gives him a peck on the cheek. It lingers slightly, and then she releases gently.
“Thank you, Harry, for always being here for me.”
“Anytime you need or want anything, you can always ask me. Don’t be afraid. Anything. I mean it,” Harry replied.
“Well,” Hermione began, “there is one thing I desperately want.”
Hermione leaned over and took his face in her hands gingerly and turned it towards hers. He gently wrapped his arms around her waist in response, as the both brought their faces together slowly. Hermione took his lips in hers, and began kissing him passionately. It was wild and wonderful; just how she wanted it to be. He parted his lips slightly and ran his tongue over her lips, asking for entry. She responded by allowing his tongue in and playfully caressing it with hers. He ran his hands over her back as she strung hers through his hair. Harry tilted her face upward to deepen the kiss. Hermione let out a small moan, and Harry was pleased to see someone react so well to a kiss.
They went on like this for several minutes until they both drew away, gasping for air. They both couldn’t help but be pleased with what had just happened, no matter how wrong it was for two best friends to snog behind everyone’s back.
It was Hermione who broke the tension.
“Yeah, it was.”
“Promise me you won’t tell anyone?”
“I won’t if you won’t. As long as there are no feelings involved.”
“Of course not.”
And with that, they both retreated back to the common room under the invisibility cloak and went to bed without another word of the incident.
Fifth Year, the Night After the Ministry Battle
Harry wanders up to the Owlry to check on Hedwig, only to find Hermione alone petting every owl within her arm span. Harry couldn’t help but laugh in spite of himself. Hermione, having no idea she was being watched, jumped and whipped around to see who her unexpected visitor was.
“Harry! You just about gave me a heart attack!”
“Sorry Hermione, it was just amusing how much you care for animals.”
“Think it’s funny, do you?” she snarled back, clearly not amused.
“Woah,” Harry started, throwing his hands up and backing away, “I didn’t mean it like that, and you know it.”
“Sorry,” said Hermione, “I guess I’m still edgy. There’s something about fighting for your life that makes you moody.” She turned to beam at Harry, and he smiled back.
“Welcome to my world. You know, if you remember last year, there is something you could do to take your mind off it.”
“I’d like that,” Hermione replied knowingly, slowly walking toward Harry. When she reached him, he took her by the waist as she entwined her fingers in his hair. He slowly bent his head forward, never taking his eyes off hers, until their lips met. Harry closed his mouth around hers and gently kissed her lips with the utmost tenderness. Hermione let out a little moan in satisfaction. She couldn’t take the taunting anymore and plunged her tongue in his mouth without pausing to ask for entry. He responded by taking her tongue with his, while their tongues danced playfully with each other, transitioning from a slow, elegant waltz, to a rapid, exhilarating samba, and back again. Harry ran his fingers up and down her back, while she moved her hands from his hair, down his neck and gingerly to his cheeks.
They pulled away what felt like years later, both gasping for air and cheeks flushed. Hermione gently smiled back at Harry, who was standing, looking content, by Hedwig.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Like I said before, anything you need, anytime, anywhere. As long as there are no feelings involved,” he replied.
“Of course not, Harry. I’ll see you later.”
And she was off down the path, back towards the school, leaving a content Harry, acting as though nothing had happened.
Sixth Year, The Night after Harry’s Bathroom Duel with Malfoy
Harry ran in a dazed state to the Gryffindor common room, eyes ablaze with fear for both himself and his enemy. There was only one person he wanted to talk to, and he knew she would understand. He ran into the common room and found Hermione reading in an armchair, clearly as far away from Ron and Lavender as possible. Harry continued his anxious run and dragged her by the arm, towards the passageway out of the common room.
“Harry Potter, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Hermione,” he began, still dragging her through the room. To where, he didn’t know. “You don’t understand. I need to talk to you!”
“Harry, what in the world could be important enough to drag me out of the bloody common room?” They were in the corridor at this point, still headed towards an unknown destination.
“I did something, something no one can know about.”
Harry continued dragging Hermione down the hall as she struggled to keep up with his hurried pace. Finally, he pulled her into a deserted classroom on the sixth floor.
“Harry, what on earth did you do?”
“You know my potions book? The one edited by the half-blood prince?”
“Harry, you know I told you-“
“That’s beside the point right, Hermione! Anyway, there was a spell written in it, sectumsempra, and a note that said ‘for enemies’. So I was following Malfoy today as he was doing whatever the hell it is he does, and he noticed me, and we started dueling. And…..well……”
“Yes? What?” Hermione gave him a concerned glance.
“I may have… used the spell.” Harry’s words were astoundingly weak, as though he had been punched in the gut moments earlier.
“Oh Harry,” Hermione said in a soft tone, “what happened?”
“There was blood. So much blood.” Harry bowed his head. “The spell hit him square in the chest. All I saw was a giant gash, and then the blood came rushing. I left Draco lying on the bathroom floor.” Harry’s voice trembled with remorse. He rested his hands behind him on a desk, head still bowed, as he slowly leaned into the desk.
Hermione quickly leapt up and hurried over to where Harry stood with a morose look on his face. She grabbed his face with both her hands and tilted it upwards.
“Harry, he’ll be okay. You’re too kind a boy to mean harm. Even to Draco, of all people.” And with that, she planted a tender kiss on his lips and turned to walk away. She got two feet before a hand on her waist pulled her back in the direction from which she came. She was turned to see Harry, on his feet again, pull her in and firmly plant his lips on hers. He kissed her with a hunger fuelled by guilt and sorrow, yet hope and lust. Lust not meant for her, she knew, but lust none the less. She kissed him back with the same passion he had, causing a little moan to escape his lips. Hermione loved knowing she made him feel better.
He ran his hands over her hair, her back, and her bottom in a lustful yet enjoyable way that sent chills down Hermione’s spine. She let her hands slide up and down his chest, up to his face, and through his hair. Harry tilted her face up towards him, deepening the kiss. Hermione moaned with pleasure as he pressed her up against the nearby wall, wrapping her legs around him and picking her up off the ground. Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and planted her tongue in his mouth. Their tongues took off on a rapid, jolting pattern that caused both of them to whimper in satisfaction.
Eventually, when they couldn’t take any more, they pulled away and Hermione slowly lowered herself to the ground. Panting, she pressed his forehead to his, hands still around his neck. They stood there, tenderly, for what felt like hours to both of them.
“Thank you,” Harry said, barely even a whisper.
“I’m here too, Harry. Whenever you need me.”
“As long as there are no feelings involved?” The yearly promise popped up again.
“As long as there are no feelings involved,” Hermione replied with an eye roll.
They hurried back to the common room side by side and casually, as though they hadn’t just spent close to half an hour snogging in an empty classroom.
Seventh Year, Harry and Hermione are Dancing
Harry and Hermione stood slowly swaying in the living room area of their tent. The music played softly, and the gloomy feeling was lifted. Hermione smiled up at Harry and received a smile in return.
“Harry,” Hermione began, “you remember our yearly…togetherness?”
“Mmmhmmm,” Harry murmured.
“Well, is it becoming a tradition?” Hermione smirked up at Harry. He beamed back in response and ran a hand softly over her cheek.
“Only if you want it to be,” he said, almost like a whisper.
Hermione reached up and lightly moved his hair away from his scar. She rose on to her toes and gently kissed it, then the spot between his eyes, and the tip of his nose. Finally, Harry couldn’t help but grasp her face and line it up with his, kissing her full on the mouth. The kiss almost seemed urgent, like he might die the next day. Who knows? Maybe the both would. Nonetheless, Hermione kissed him back, gently at first, then building to a power and hunger beyond comprehension. Harry whimpered in response. He ran his tongue gently over her lips, and when she allowed his tongue in, he took time exploring every little crevice and space within her mouth. His hands slid down from her waist, to her bottom, and back up her back, and down again, pausing at her bottom to gently squeeze it, before travelling back up her back.
In response, Hermione moaned and squeezed his bottom to pull him closer. She brought her hands around and slid them under his shirt, and ran them up and down his chest and stomach. She took one of his hands in hers and slowly brought it over to rest cupping one of her breasts. He didn’t remove it. Knowing where she wanted this to go, she reached out to the bottom of his shirt and pulled it upwards, over his head.
He pulled back a little in response and gave her a look that said “are you sure?” and she gave a little nod in response. He gently nibbled her lower lip while reaching forward to pull her blouse over her head. Their kissing became hungrier and more lustful than ever as he undid her bra and she unclasped his belt buckle. Time flies when you’re having fun
The next morning, Harry woke up, feeling as if he competed in a triathlon the night before. He looked over to see Hermione stirring beside him, clearly waking up. She turned to face him and smiled. He offered a gentle smile in return.
And then the promise came. “As long as there are no feelings involved,” he said for a fourth time.
“Harry, I know.” But she couldn’t help but beam back at him.
A/N: Yay! A prologue! Hopefully you guys like it! I kind of wanted to set up a whole friends with benefits idea at first, but props to RomioneWriter for the wonderful idea to create a prologue! I credit them, as they requested it. :) Please feed the review box! It doesn't care whether the reviews taste good or bad, as long as its something to feed off! See you next time!