Over the next few weeks Mrs Weasley kept holding Weasley family meetings and every night Harry and Hermione spent together talking. By the third week of the holiday, Harry knew everything to know about Hermione. One night Harry found out one of Hermione's biggest fears.
"Hermione, is something bothering you? You seem distant and nervous" Harry questioned.
"Harry, I'm going to tell you something I've never had the guts to admit to anyone even myself. I'm terrified that soon you and Ron will think I'm useless. I've never been brave enough to fight like Ron has. You always turn to Ron when you need help, unless it's something you don't understand. I don't mind pointing you in the right direction, but I want to be able to come along on your 'adventures'. Everyone thinks of me as a geek who only cares about grades. I haven't proven to myself that I'm worth being Harry Potter's best friend. The boy who lived having a friend as boring as me." She trailed off, Harry could see the tears in her eyes glistening by the moonlight. "I'm not blaming you, Harry. I understand that Ron is physically stronger than me."
"Hermione, you honestly think you're not good enough to be my friend? You are perfect and without you, I can truly say, I would probably be dead. The only reason I take Ron is because I could never live with myself if something happened to you. Ron is a strong fighter and I know if something happened to me, he would be able to carry on. If I took you, however, and something happened to me, you wouldn't be able to not look after me. You would risk your life to save me. I won't allow that so I leave you out of our 'adventures'" Harry gently replied. They were currently sitting on a huge chair in the library.
"You really think I'm perfect?" She said timidly.
"More perfect than I thought possible." He replied, gently stroking her arm. "I wouldn't change one thing about you." He whispered. With his other hand he brushed away the hair that had fallen into her eyes. As he gently stroked her cheek, she blushed. Harry suddenly became aware that his mouth was very, very dry. He slowly moved close to her, he could see her breathing wasn't steady anymore. He, himself, noticed that his heart was beating faster than ever before. He looked deep into her dark brown eyes. They were inches away from each other, Harry's stomach had butterflies fluttering around it. He was moments away from what he had been dreaming of doing for the past few weeks. He only had a second to prepare but he knew all the time in the world wouldn't be enough to prepare for this. Their lips were touching.
"Harry, I need to talk to you!" Ron had entered, Harry and Hermione quickly moved apart, Ron had ruined what Harry wanted to do most in the world. "Oh, hello Hermione. Can you give Harry and me a second to talk?" He asked politely.
"Sure, bye Ron. Bye Harry." She mumbled before tearing out of the room. Harry stared longingly after her, his moment had past, he wouldn't get an opportunity like that again.
"I'm fed up of Ginny. She's so annoying. She keeps telling me about what's troubling her, why do I care? Yes, I'm her brother, but she has five other ones here to bother. Her problems are so boring to listen to. She should talk to Hermione about that stuff... it's girl problems." Ron complained.
"Girl problems? Do I want to know?" Harry joked.
"She has a crush on someone, she made me promise I wouldn't tell anyone." Ron replied.
"A crush? Is it someone from school?" Questioned Harry.
"Yeah, it is, as a matter of fact." Laughed Ron. "I can't tell you anymore."
"Oh, come on, Ron. Tell me, I won't tell anyone." Harry pleaded.
"Fine, it's you. She has a crush on you." Ron mumbled. Harry was speechless. He knew Ginny had a little crush on him ages ago, but Harry just thought it was a childish crush. Now, Ginny was older and her crushes meant something. "You can't tell her I told you." He begged.
"Umm... What am I meant to do about this?" Harry asked. He had never really thought about Ginny except like a friend. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Harry started thinking of Ginny and him, together. Something stopped him, someone had walked in on their little scene, it was Hermione. Harry felt extremely guilty, even though what he was thinking was just a thought and Hermione and Harry were just friends. Maybe it was time to forget about Hermione and move on? Ginny was a good-looking girl, she was clever, strong and athletic.
"Well, do you like her back? If you do, there's one thing you can do." Ron asked.
"I don't know. I never thought I did." Harry answered. "Would you be mad if I did ask her out?"
"No. Well, it would be weird, but I know you won't hurt her. Are you thinking about asking her then?"
"I am now. I'm going to bed, sorry but it's been a long day. Night."
Harry didn't sleep for ages that night. He lay awake thinking about what to do. He figured out that, since finding out about Ginny's feelings, he had developed something for Ginny, but where did that leave Hermione? He wasn't getting very far with Hermione, and Ginny would probably say yes if he asked her out.
'Dear Fire Demon,
I've done it. I told Ron that I had a crush on Harry and knowing Ron, Harry will already know. There might be a slight problem, though. Hermione Granger. I know it won't work if you asked her out, she hates you and you hate her. I've heard that Viktor Krum is training around Hogwarts and he asked Hermione whether he should stay in England. If we get him to stay and get them together, it should work.
"Here you go, Errol. Take this to him, quickly." Ginny commanded. "What have I gotten myself into? If they ever find out, they'll kill me." Ginny said whilst walking towards her bed. She heard a faint knock at her door and walked over and opened it. "Hermione, how can I help you?" Ginny quickly changed her emotion.
"I need to talk to you, about Harry." Hermione murmured.
"Of course. What's happened?" Ginny questioned.
Hermione told Ginny all about what she and Harry had done in the library. That over the summer they had been grower closer and she was beginning to realise her feelings had increased for him.
"What do you think I should do? Ignore our near kiss?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, ignore it. I would, if Harry wants to act on it, he will." Ginny answered.
"Thanks, Ginny. You helped a lot. Night. See you at breakfast."
With that, Ginny was alone once more. She felt extremely guilty, she knew that Hermione had genuine feelings for Harry and she was ruining it. She was being extremely selfish. To save herself, she was putting others through hurt and pain. "No, I can't, this will help everyone in the long run. I can't let them get together. Not yet, anyway."
Slowly, one by one, everyone in number 12 Grimmauld Place woke up to the morning sun. Harry woke up with an extremely guilty conscience. He had, as per usual, dreamt about Hermione, always in the same house with the same children, but this time it had turned into a nightmare. He had woken up, in his dream, and looked over and saw Ginny, not Hermione, sleeping beside him. "If Hermione mentions what happened last night to me, I'll try to forget about Ginny." He promised himself. "Lets hope she'll talk to me about it."
"Morning, Harry." Ginny cheered as Harry walked into the kitchen for breakfast. Harry looked around and noticed that Hermione was no where to be seen.
"Morning, Ginny. Sleep well?" Harry asked. "Have you seen Hermione anywhere?" He added casually.
"Yes, she finished breakfast as I walked in. Probably has something important to do, you know Hermione - reading or something." Ginny laughed. This made Harry really angry, he didn't know why but the anger just bubbled up inside him. He couldn't understand, he always joked with Ron about Hermione and books, but this time, something was different. Ginny noticing this, quickly added "she told me about Krum. I think it's great that he might be staying in England. I always thought they were a cute couple." Harry didn't know what Ginny was playing at. However, she didn't know what Harry was feeling inside.
He suddenly lost his appetite and tore out of the room before his rage took over him. He ran upstairs and barged into Ron's room. He was still fast asleep but Harry didn't care. He walked straight over to him and pulled the overs off of him. "Ron, get up!" Harry demanded.
"H-H-Harry?" Ron said, stifling a yawn. "What's up?" He asked sleepily.
"It's Hermione. And, well, Ginny." He said guiltily. "Hermione seems to be ignoring me and Ginny is acting... differently around me."
"Harry, even though you are the chosen one, you're still and idiot around girls. It's obvious, isn't it? Ginny has asked Hermione to give her time with you. So, Hermione is doing that." Ron concluded. "Ginny is obviously hoping that you will return her feelings if you spend enough time with her." Ron said, as though he had had experience that Harry had never had.
"Really? Hermione's ignoring me because Ginny wants me to ask her out?" Harry said disheartened. He honestly thought that Hermione could of returned his feelings. "Maybe I should talk to Ginny then?" He said, more to himself than to Ron. "Sorry for waking you up. I'l just leave."
With that, Harry left the room and Ron collapsed down on his bed. "No, Harry. You should talk to Hermione." He said before he rolled over and fell asleep.
Harry walked into his room and sat on the bed. He knew it did ought to talk to Ginny, but he couldn't. He wanted to see Hermione. His mind was set, he walked out of his room and went straight over to Hermione's door. He reached down to turn the handle, but he hesitated - someone was in her room, someone other then Hermione.
"Hermy-own-ninny, I am so glad you invited me here." Said Viktor Krum from the other side of the door. Harry's rage came back. He barged into the room and was shocked, and a little saddened, at the sight he saw. Krum and Hermione were, there was no other way to say it, passionately kissing. As soon as Harry walked in they pulled apart. "Oh, hello Harry." He said naively.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE? GET OUT, NOW!" Harry yelled, he didn't know what he was doing, he didn't know he was that angry. "WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE? GO!"
Krum ran from the room whilst mumbling something to both Harry and Hermione. Harry then turned to Hermione, but before he got the change to say anything to her, she spoke up. "Harry, what do you think you're doing? What is wrong with you?" She said nervously.
"Why did you invite him here? This is not your house, Hermione." Harry replied, his voice shaking with the rage that had exploded out of him.
"Invite who? What are you talking about?" She asked him, sounding as concerned as she looked in the Leaky Cauldron.
"Krum. What was he doing here and what were you doing?" Spat Harry.
"Krum? What? That was Ginny..." Revealed Hermione. "What's gotten into you, Harry?"
"Hermione-I'm-sorry" Harry managed to say before he disappeared out of her room.
As soon as Harry entered his room, he walked over to his wardrobe and kicked it as hard as he could. "What's the matter, sir?" came a small, squeaky voice from in the shadows.
"Dobby? Is that you?" Harry longed to see someone who thought that he was perfect and could do nothing wrong.
"Harry Potter, sir. How can I be of services to you, sir?" Dobby kindly asked, whilst stepping out of the shadows.
And, so, Harry talked, he talked all night until the familiar scream of "DINNER IS READY!" Harry turned around to say goodbye to Dobby, but was shocked to see he wasn't there anymore. He hadn't heard the usual pop, signalling someone had apparated or disapparated. Had Harry actually been talking to someone, or had he been imagining it like before? Whether or not he had been talking to Dobby, Harry didn't feel like seeing people... especially Ginny. He had completely lost control of his emotions, and would prefer to talk to her privately, without anyone listening in.
Ten minutes later, Harry heard "HARRY! DINNER!" Mrs Weasley never liked it when someone in the house wasn't enjoying the dinner with everyone else. Again, Harry ignored it.
Suddenly, someone burst into Harry's room. Harry sat up quickly, everything was a blur, he must have fallen asleep. "Harry, we need to talk." The voice said sternly. It had to be Ginny, Harry thought. He understood why she was so angry, he would be too if someone had screamed at him.
Harry blinked, numerous times, to try and get a clear vision. He then realised that his glasses were no longer helping him see, they were on his bedside table. Someone must of come in and taken them off. He reached out and placed them over his eyes, he could now see. However, he was shocked to see who was standing in his doorway. She had thick, brown, curly hair - Hermione.
"Harry, no let me speak (Harry had tried to say something). What has been going on? Ever since Diagon Alley you have been acting strange. Is it me? Do you not like me or something? Maybe I should leave you alone. Sorry." And with that, she left.
"Girls" Harry said out loud. "At least she's not angry with him anymore. Only a few more weeks and I'll be back at school with only Snape to worry about." Harry joked with himself.
The days passed into weeks which soon passed into a month and before Harry knew it, he only had a week of school left. Since Harry had already bought his school things already, so he wasn't panicking like normal. One morning he went down to the kitchen to get some breakfast when he heard two voice whispering vigorously. Harry, who was known for knowing stuff he wasn't meant to, walked over to the door which was emitting the voices.
"We can't be seen together anymore, it's getting too obvious." Said a boy that Harry couldn't see as he was in the shadows. Whoever it was, Harry wouldn't never know unless he barged onto the scene.
"At least it isn't Krum." Harry hears Ron saying. That means either Hermione or Ginny has spoken to Ron about what Harry had shouted. "It's alright, mate. You're confused about your feelings but if you ever shout at Ginny again for no reason, I cant be held responsible for my actions." Ron said before patting Harry on the back and signalling to him that they should grab some breakfast.
"Thanks, Ron. I'll be different at Hogwarts, I've never spent this long with Hermione before and it's getting to me." Harry replied. "Don't tell Hermione or Ginny about this, I'm not ready for this to come out yet."
"FRED, GEORGE, RON, GINNY, HARRY, HERMIONE! WE HAVE TO LEAVE IN TEN MINUTES!" Yelled Mrs Weasley on the morning of September 1st.
In five minutes, six school trunks had been loaded into the back of the Weasley's new car. Harry was the last to leave, Hermione seeing that he was unhappy came over to him and grabbed his hand. Harry was glad of this, as he wouldn't of been able to handle leaving the place where his Godfather grew up, the house where Harry finally found a happy home outside of school. "Come on, Harry. It's time to go home." Hermione gently said. Harry knew she was right, the only place he has ever felt like he belonged was the huge castle thousands of miles away from where they stand now.
"Thank you, Hermione." Harry said as they were walking to the car. They settled down and Harry looked at the house the last time, he knew he was coming back for Christmas, but he couldn't help feeling sad. He caught Hermione's eyes and felt safe looking into them.
"It's settled then, as soon as we get some time alone, I'm talking to Hermione about my feelings." Harry said to himself in his head. "I need to tell her that I think I love her."
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