A/N: This story take place during the trio's seventh year. One-shot.
Valentine's Day Blues
There was so much love in the air that Hermione wanted to vomit into the book she was reading. Whose idea was it anyway to reserve a day to display one's affections? It was all nonsense, and it was interfering with Hermione's NEWT studying.
It actually wasn't even Valentine's Day yet. It was Friday, February 13, the day before Valentine's Day. But all the giggling and chatting about the Valentine's Day Hogsmeade trip was becoming unbearable-Hermione was about to freak out. Instead of causing a scene, Hermione decided to slam her Arithmancy book shut and huff, "That does it, I can't study with all this racket."
All she got in response from Harry was a grunt. He wanted to beat Ron in wizard's chess, so his entire cranial capacity was devoted to the chess board in front of him. Ron, on the other hand, did nothing to help her mood. "Come on, Hermione. You need to lighten up a bit, it's Valentine's Weekend. It's one of our last Hogsmeade trips ever." Hermione raised her eyebrows. Ron rolled his eyes and said, "Oh wait, that's right, you're not going tomorrow."
"That's right, I'm not. And if you had more than the necessary brain cells to keep your body functioning properly, you would stay in too. Our NEWTs are only four months away!" Hermione practically sobbed.
"Come on Hermione, you can put aside studying for just one day, can't you?" pleaded Ron.
"No. That's my final answer," said Hermione sternly. "I don't even get why you're getting so worked up about it, you're going with Luna, aren't you?"
Ron glanced at Harry quickly and cleared his throat. "Ah…no reason, I just think you need some fresh air."
"I get plenty of fresh air in Herbology, thank you very much," said Hermione.
Their conversation was interrupted by Harry exclaiming, "I've got it!" He moved his queen four spaces diagonally then sat back looking smug.
Ron glanced at the board for a split-second, then had his rook take Harry's queen before lazily saying, "Checkmate."
As Harry stared and blinked at the board, Ron said, "So, barring a sudden cancelation of our NEWTs, there's no way you're going to Hogsmeade?"
"Exactly," said Hermione forcefully. "And that's that, just give it a rest already."
Ron sighed in defeat, picked up his chessboard, and trudged up the stairs to his dorm, muttering under his breath about 'stupid studying'.
In all honesty, there was one way Hermione would go to Hogsmeade on Valentine's Day-but only one way. That one way was the young man staring at the spot where the chessboard had been sitting up until a second ago. If Harry Potter asked Hermione to Hogsmeade then she would definitely go, especially if he confessed his undying love for her. Because she definitely had undying love for him. If only he would get his act together and look at her as a woman instead of a Ron with breasts.
Harry finally sighed and reclined in his chair. He looked over at Hermione and said, for what had to have been the thousandth time that day, "Come on, Hermione, why won't you just take a day off and go to Hogsmeade tomorrow?"
Hermione groaned. "Not you too. Why won't you just get off my back already," she said wearily.
"Just give me a good reason," Harry said, "And I'll 'get off your back.'"
"I've already given you a good reason!" Hermione exclaimed. "I'm stud-"
"That doesn't count," said Harry. "Don't give me that crap. You can fool Ron, but I know you too well. That isn't the real reason you won't go. Just tell me, Hermione," Harry pleaded. "What is it?"
Hermione glanced around the common room, which had completely emptied in the past ten minutes but for the two of them. She settled on giving Harry a half-truth. "Well, maybe I don't want to go alone," she told Harry. "Did you ever think of that?"
"You won't be going alone," said Harry as if that was the most obvious thing in the world. "You'll be going with me."
"I meant alone as in without a date," Hermione said through clenched teeth.
Harry's eyes brightened and he said, "I'll be back in a sec," before dashing up the stairs leading to the boys' dorms.
A minute later he came back downstairs with a hand behind his back and sat back down in his chair. Hermione raised an eyebrow at him and he said, "So you won't go unless you have a date?"
"That's what I said," said Hermione, who felt a little apprehensive about what was about to come next. Was he going to try and pair her up with somebody? Was this some sort of joke?
"Well how about you come with me?" Harry asked nervously.
"What?" exclaimed Hermione. This was even worse-he was going to take her out on a pity date. Harry Potter, the man of her dreams, the man that could have anyone in the whole school, the man that was her best friend.
"Erm…" was all Harry could get out. If Hermione wasn't so busy trying to figure out what was going on she would've noticed that Harry was sweating and shaking. "I'm asking if you want to go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow…as my date," Harry finally said.
Hermione couldn't believe the nerve of Harry. No matter how much she wanted to be Harry's date, this wasn't how she wanted it to happen. "I don't need your pity, Harry," Hermione said in disgust.
"Who said this was pity?" Harry snapped back, anger rising.
"Oh please," said Hermione bossily. "You're Harry Potter, you can have anyone you want, and I'm definitely not your type, based on who you've liked so far."
"What does Cho have to do with this?" asked Harry, still confused.
"My point," said Hermione, "is that you go for sporty and beautiful and I'm bookish and plain, which means that this is one hundred percent pity."
"Yes I am, I'm bookish and plain, everyone knows it," Hermione spat.
"Well, what if I was hiding my feelings for you behind Cho?" asked Harry, his face flushed red. "What if I really liked you, loved you, all along?"
This made Hermione stop. They stood there staring at each other, chests heaving, their panting the only sound in the room besides the crackling of the fire. Then Hermione burst out laughing. "Oh please, Harry, that's the best you can come up with? Well guess what-I don't need your date and I most certainly don't need your pity. So stop lying to yourself and me and leave me alone, I don't need my Valentine's Day ruined by you."
Harry stood there blinking dumbly at the ground, and Hermione smirked at him before sitting back down. There was complete silence for a few minutes before Harry looked up, and when he did, his eyes were glistening. Hermione's stomach clenched at the look of pain on his face. Her adrenaline had faded and the heavy weight of regret settled in her chest. "Harry, I didn't mean it, I'm-"
"You think," Harry cut her off. He swallowed and started over. "You think so low of me?" he asked in a dangerously low voice. "You think that I would lie to my best friend? Have I ever lied to you?"
Hermione could see her friendship-her first real friendship-crumbling before her eyes. She stood up and said, "No, I'm sorry, Harry! I didn't mean it!" she cried.
"I should've known," Harry said. Then he exploded. "BECAUSE WHEN DOES ANYTHING IN MY LIFE GO THE WAY I WANT IT TO?"
Hermione flinched as Harry stormed past her. At the foot of the boys' stairs, he took what he was holding-what he had been hiding behind his back earlier-and threw it against the wall before storming upstairs.
Hermione numbly walked over to the objects, bent down, and picked them up and examined them. A single, beautiful red rose lay on top of a box of chocolates shaped like a heart, the left side of it smashed where it had hit the stone wall. He really hadn't lied to her. He had wanted to go on a date with her. What had he said? What if I really liked you, loved you, all along?
"Oh Merlin, oh Merlin, oh Merlin," Hermione hyperventilated under her breath. What had she done? By now the tears were running thick and fast down her face. She stumbled upstairs to her room, pulled the hangings of her bed, which had a silencing charm on them, shut, and bawled her eyes out.
What had she done? She had ruined the best thing that had ever happened to her. Her best friend, the man she loved, the reason she lived, now hated her. Not only did he hate her, but she was the reason he hated her. She loved him, and he had loved her back! Her wildest dream came true…and was brutally crushed…by herself. With that knowledge, the smartest witch in Hogwarts cried herself to sleep.
In the blissful moment between being asleep and being awake, Hermione was happy. She would get to spend the day studying in peace while everyone was in Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade. Valentine's Day. Love. Harry.
"Son of a Banshee," said Hermione under her breath before dragging herself to the bathroom.
What she saw in the mirror didn't do anything to cheer her up. She had bags under eyes, which were rimmed red from all her crying last night. Her hair looked like a rat's nest too. She sighed and with a few swishes and flicks of her wand, looked presentable.
As she grabbed her studying materials from next to her bed she glanced at her clock, which read 9:15. That was a good thing-hopefully everyone would've left for Hogsmeade by now.
But when she got downstairs, a certain redhead was waiting for her. She put her stuff down and sat in the chair across from Ron, who was looking intently at her with what seemed to be a hint of distaste.
They sat in an uncomfortable silence for a few minutes, Ron staring at Hermione and Hermione staring at the table between the two, before Ron quietly asked, "Have you ever seen Harry cry?"
Hermione's stomach twisted and she felt her eyes get wet. "No," she responded, her voice shaking.
"Me neither, until last night," Ron said more forcefully. "He cried, Hermione. He cried because of what you said to him."
Hermione was crying now. "I didn't mean to do it! I was confused! How was I supposed to know he really liked me?"
"What?" Ron said, his anger gone, bewilderment etched on his face. "What do you mean, 'how was I supposed to know he really liked me'? He didn't give you the speech he'd been working on for months?"
Hermione had stopped crying, she was confused too. "No. We were fighting and he said 'Well, what if I was hiding my feelings for you behind Cho? What if I really liked you, loved you, all along?'"
"That idiot!" Ron exclaimed. He sighed and said, "But still Hermione, you think your best friend tells you something like that and it doesn't mean something? In the end it all comes down to the same point. Harry confessed his true feelings for you and you shot him down, quite harshly I might add. This mess is still ninety percent your fault, and…well, good luck getting out of it. I've gotta get going, Luna's waiting for me."
And with that, Ron left the Gryffindor common room and Hermione sighed. Ron was right, this mess was still her fault, she's the one who said those awful things to Harry. She moaned and rested her head in her hands, pressing the heels of them into her eyes. How would she have felt if she had confessed her feelings to Harry and he responded that way? Truth be told, she would probably never talk to him again. Hermione moaned and started crying again. She cried and thought about how she was going to fix this mess until she heard footsteps coming from the stairs. She quickly wiped her face and eyes and picked up a book just as the person stepped into the common room. Hermione felt a lump rise in her throat as she looked at Harry. His hair was even more disheveled than usual and his eyes were just as red as hers. He was a little hunched and there was no mischievous glint in his eye. Never before had Hermione seen the boy-who-won look so…defeated.
It was when Harry was halfway to the portrait hole that Hermione realized her best chance to apologize to him was slipping away. Hermione quickly jumped up and stood in front of him. Her confidence was kicked down a notch when he continued to look over her head. At least he didn't just walk into her.
"Harry," Hermione whispered. Harry's head sort of flinched down, like he was letting his defenses down and was going to look at her, but he regained control of himself. "I'm so sorry. Please, you must know I didn't mean it. Please, Harry, forgive me."
Harry finally looked down at her, and when he did, Hermione flinched. He wasn't sad, he wasn't even angry, he just looked lifeless. Just another thing to add to the list of what Hermione felt guilty about.
"Please move, Granger," Harry said politely, still not looking at her.
Hermione staggered right back into her chair as if struck by a physical blow and Harry left Gryffindor Tower. Hermione drew her knees up to her chest and cried again. It was over. It was really over. He hated her.
"Ohhhhhhhhh," moaned Hermione. "Noooooo!" she screamed hysterically. This couldn't be happening, this couldn't be happening.
"Hermione?" asked a tentative voice from the bottom of the girls' stairs.
Hermione wiped her face again and looked over at the stairs. "Ginny?" The youngest Weasley took a few cautious steps into the common room. "What are you still doing here?"
"I have a detention in a few hours," she said morosely. "Apparently it's 'against the rules' to use the Bat-Bogey Hex on Malfoy for sneering at me."
"That git," Hermione said with little humor.
"Your turn," said Ginny. "What's wrong with you?"
Hermione took a deep breath. This was a good opportunity to sort herself out and see if Ginny had any good ideas. "Well, long story short, Harry and I liked, as in like liked, each other, but now he hates me."
Ginny grimaced. "Ooh. It can't really be that bad, can it? I mean, you and Ron have fought loads of times, but you're still friends, right?"
"You don't understand," said Hermione, exasperated. "I really blew it with Harry. Basically, he told me he loved me and I crushed his heart to little pieces." Hermione sighed again. "You know what, maybe I should just-"
"Don't you dare!" exclaimed Ginny. "You were about to say you were going to give up, weren't you?" Hermione nodded, a little frightened. "What's wrong with you? Since when have you ever given up? Since when has your brain ever failed you? Everyone knows that you two belong together! You can't give up on it now, just because the going has gotten tough!"
Hermione jumped up from her seat. "You're right, Ginny. You're absolutely right. I need to do something to show him that I really love him."
"Do something unexpected," chipped in Ginny. "I know: act rashly!"
Fifteen minutes later Hermione found herself standing outside of the Three Broomsticks. She was a woman on a mission.
Gathering her courage, she stepped into the warm pub and scanned the tables for Harry. She spotted him hunched over a butterbeer in the middle of the room, sitting across from Ron and Luna, who seemed to be trying to devour each other's faces.
Hermione ran to the table and jumped on it, then pulled out her wand and made it emit the sound of a gunshot, which garnered everyone's attention. Hermione looked around and felt her stomach drop. She saw the face of her friends and some others she didn't want hearing what was to come next: Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, and Malfoy to name a few.
Nevertheless, Hermione took a deep breath and said loud and clear, "I just want everyone to know that I am completely and utterly in love with Harry Potter."
Hermione could feel her heart pounding a tattoo in her ribcage as she looked around at all the shocked faces. She glanced down at Harry, whose mouth was hanging open. She had been hoping for a bit more of a reaction.
She finally got one, but not from Harry.
Draco Malfoy had stood up and began clapping. "Bravo, bravo. You managed to make a fool of yourself in front of all your classmates, friends, and professors. I hope this makes you realize that no one would ever want you, you miserable, ugly freak. Great job Potter, I actually respect you a bit now. For a while there I thought you fancied her."
Hermione burst into tears and fled the Three Broomsticks as quickly as she could, not paying attention to the madhouse that broke out behind her as she left, sure that they were all making fun of her more. She stumbled through Hogsmeade, blinded by her tears, until she arrived at the shrieking shack.
She ran to the room where she, Ron, and Harry had confronted Sirius four years ago, flopped onto the bed that was still there, and cried her eyes out. A few minutes later, someone showed up panting heavily. "Go away!" Hermione shouted at the intruder without looking at who it was.
"Hermione," the person said, and Hermione bolted upright.
"Harry?" Hermione asked. Then more defensively, "What are you doing here?"
Harry didn't answer, and Hermione stood up and began pacing around the room trying to think of anything to ask but the question that she dreaded the answer to but needed to know. After a few minutes, she finally stopped and asked the question. "Are we…are we ever going to be friends again?"
"Never," said Harry with certainty.
Hermione felt her heart shatter in her chest. Then Harry's lips were on hers, and his hands were on the small of her back and the back of her neck, and her hands were tangled in his hair, and she could feel his breath on her face and could feel her back being pressed into the wall behind her. Then his lips were gone and they were panting, their noses still touching.
"I'll never be your friend again because I want to always be so much more than just your friend." Harry's eyes were twinkling. "That is, only if you'll have me."
"I don't understand," said Hermione slowly.
"What do you mean?" asked Harry, his lips still only centimeters away from Hermione's. "Do you need me to say it, too? I love you, Hermione, I love you with ever fiber of my being."
"Oh, I love you too Harry, but-" Hermione's thought was cut off by Harry's mouth covering hers for another passionate kiss. "But why didn't you say anything in the Three Broomsticks?" she finished after they parted for more oxygen.
"I was shocked, that's why. I wasn't really expecting that, especially in the middle of the Three Broomsticks for everyone to hear," Harry said before kissing her again. "And it took me so long to get here because I was too busy punching Malfoy's face in." At Hermione's shocked look, Harry said, "I didn't get detention, McGonagall was cheering me on."
A silence enveloped them, and it wasn't completely comfortable like it usually was. There was still more to be said. "Harry, I'm so sorry for what I said to you. You know I didn't mean it, right?"
Harry gave her a quick smile and said, "Yeah," before getting serious and saying, "And I'm sorry for being a jerk to you this morning."
"It's fine, Harry," said Hermione. "I deserved it."
"You could never deserve that," said Harry. "What you do deserve is a kiss."
"Just one?" asked Hermione playfully with her lips against his.
"As many as you want," whispered Harry back against her lips before giving her what she deserved.
A/N: Thanks for reading! And the 'Son of a Banshee' comes from Potter Puppet Pals: Wizard Swears.
Please Review, it really means a lot to me!