A/N: Yes, I remember that I have a WIP. But I have finals these two weeks, so I don't have time to write a whole chapter. So here's a one-shot. I found it on my hard drive with most of it completed, so I finished it. Might not be up to par with my usual work, though…
When in Need
Harry Potter sat in his seventh-year potions class doodling in his notebook, no attention going to Professor Snape. He was drawing the beak on an almost-unrecognizable hippogriff, his drawing absolute rubbish. But it was better than listening to Snape drone on and on about boring mixtures.
Just as he was about to finish, Hermione bumped his arm as she raised her hand, making him draw a line through his drawing. "Bugger," he swore softly just as Hermione urgently said, "Professor, can I please use the restroom?"
Snape glared at her icily. "This is the fourth time this class, Miss Granger. I feel I have been extremely lax in allowing you to go three times already."
Harry studied Hermione closer. She was sweating and taking shallow breaths…almost as if she was in pain. "Please, sir," she asked with a strained voice.
"Twenty minutes until class ends, Miss Granger," said Snape with a look that dared her to challenge him. "I'm sure you can wait until then."
"I really can't, sir," Hermione said desperately, her hand finally lowering. She clutched Harry's arm so hard that he winced, then her face relaxed a bit as she relented.
The class laughed at her statement and as he turned around, Snape said, "Thirty points from Gryffindor."
Harry looked back at Hermione to see if she would be angry about this, but once again she only looked as though she was in pain. Her hand moved from Harry's arm and clutched the table so hard that her knuckles turned white. He looked over at her face to find that it had contorted a little and that more sweat had beaded on her forehead.
Then she relaxed, her face becoming peaceful. Her hands came to rest on top of the table and her breathing evened out, the sweat no longer as visible.
Harry nudged her and whispered, "What's wrong?"
When she looked at him, he recoiled the tiniest bit. The usual soft, warm brown color of her eyes was now less vivid…more agitated. "I never said anything was wrong," she replied, annoyance in her voice.
Harry didn't reply, knowing there was nothing he could say without making her mood worse. She seemed determined to be annoyed for some reason. Everything went smoothly for the rest of class, luckily enough, and when the bell rang, signifying the end of school, Hermione immediately made a beeline for the exit.
Harry stretched out his stiff joints, waiting for Ron to finish packing up, and when he did the two friends walked towards Gryffindor Tower together.
"Did you notice anything weird with Hermione?" Harry asked as they walked through the halls together.
"Yeah," Ron replied. "Needing to use the bathroom four times in one class? Mental, that is."
Harry resisted the urge to sigh, wishing Ron paid more attention sometimes. They came across the closest girls' room, the door to which Harry glanced at as he passed. He really hoped Hermione was alright in there. She seemed to have been in some serious pain.
He stopped, leaving Ron to walk a few steps before he noticed. He turned to Harry, who said, "You go on without me. I'm going to wait for Hermione…make sure she's alright."
Ron stared at him for a long moment, a disbelieving look on his face, then slowly said, "She's using the bathroom, mate. She's a big girl; she'll be fine." When Harry didn't reply, Ron sighed. "Fine. I give up. I'll see you in the common room."
"Yeah," Harry replied, sitting with his back against the wall straight across from the girls' restroom door as Ron walked away.
Harry grew increasingly nervous as he waited and waited, his stomach uneasy. He stood up and began to pace as time wore on, wishing he could just barge in recklessly. That seemed to work with pretty much everything else. After a few more minutes, he couldn't take it anymore. He nervously brought his hand to the handle, but right when he was about to touch it the door opened.
"What are you doing?" Hermione asked, her eyes narrowing in suspicion.
Harry turned red. "Erm…nothing," he said quickly, hoping he sounded natural. "You alright?"
"I already told you nothing's wrong," she snapped, hoisting her bag up higher on her shoulder before turning and walking away in a huff.
Harry sighed and followed meekly. Something was definitely wrong if she was acting like this. He just needed to figure out what it was so he could help her.
He studied her as they walked, making sure to do so very discreetly so he didn't get snapped at again. He didn't see anything at first, then began to notice that Hermione's hand would subconsciously move towards her lower stomach every once in a while. She also slowed down the tiniest bit when the hand moved.
"What are you looking at?" Hermione suddenly demanded, whirling about on him.
Harry gave her an odd look. "Nothing," he said, holding his hands up in front of him defensively.
"It better be nothing, Harry," said Hermione, giving him a withering glare, "or I'm going to freak out on you."
Hermione whirled back around and stomped off, her shoulders a bit hunched. Harry followed timidly, trying his best to be a good friend. No matter how scary Hermione got, it wouldn't deter him from providing support.
They went up to Gryffindor Tower in silence, Hermione dropping her bag on the floor next to her favorite chair before plopping down in it heavily. She looked like she was going to be sick for a moment, her hand raising to her forehead warily. She stiffened up, though, and glanced at Harry, who immediately pretended he hadn't seen anything.
Harry sat opposite Hermione, glancing at her surreptitiously as he pulled out his homework. She was reading a book, twirling a strand of hair around her finger as she did so, her face peaceful and showing no signs of the random bouts of pain that would afflict her. Harry settled down and did his potions homework since it was the freshest subject in his mind, Hermione's condition being pushed out of his thoughts more and more with each word read.
Until she dropped her book, that is.
Harry glanced up to find her with her body tensed and her eyes closed, deep breaths being pulled through her nose. Harry glanced at Ron, who hadn't noticed (of course), before looking back at Hermione. She was trying to give him the evil eye, but it was kind of ruined by the fact that she looked about ready to cry or pass out from the pain.
Harry, sensing her moment of weakness, quickly stood up, grabbed Hermione's wrist, and promptly dragged her out of the common room, not stopping until the two of them were in an empty classroom. By then, of course, Hermione was struggling, angrily pulling her wrist free of Harry's grasp once they were inside.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she hissed.
"Making you tell me what's wrong," said Harry with concern.
"When are you going to get it through your thick head?" Hermione said angrily. "Nothing. Is. Wrong."
That was it. Harry had had enough of being mister nice-guy. "I'm not an idiot, Hermione," he replied coldly. "You're my best friend. You're being attacked by pain every few minutes, seemingly originating from your lower stomach. You're being mean and rude, too, which you never do. You're keeping secrets from me, which hurts me personally. And right now you're trying to glare holes through me because you know every word I'm saying is true. So tell me right now what's wrong, Hermione, or we're going to be in here for a long time."
Hermione gave him a withering glare. "I don't have to tell you anything."
She turned to leave, but Harry grabbed her arm and spun her back around. "Tell me, Hermione," he said. Then, not knowing what else to say, said, "We're in this together, remember?"
Despite how cheesy it was, it somehow affected Hermione. "Just…just release my arm and I'll tell you," she said wearily.
Harry did so, looking at her expectantly. "Well?" he said eagerly when she hesitated.
"Well, it's really embarrassing, actually," she mumbled. "I accidentally mixed a potion for my…well…it doesn't really matter. I make it every month, and it makes it so there's no pain. But I accidentally put in some bicorn horn powder rather than unicorn horn powder and it made it much, much worse. The pain is unbearable."
"Why haven't you told me about this before?" Harry inquired.
"It's really nothing, Harry," Hermione said.
"Why didn't you go to Madam Pomfrey?" Harry pushed further.
"Well, I went to see if she could reduce the pain, but she said I'd have to stick it out," said Hermione.
"No, you don't understand, Hermione," said Harry. "If you have pain every month from this…thing you haven't told me about, why didn't you just get Madam Pomfrey to cure it?"
Hermione smiled, her lips quivering, trying to hold in laughter. Then, when Harry gave her a confused look, she really let loose, rich peals of laughter ringing in Harry's ears, which were quickly turning red. What had he said.
"Harry," Hermione said breathlessly, her eyes twinkling. "That 'thing' every month is my period. I get really bad cramps, so I take a potion to reduce the pain. I've been really snappy with everyone all day because I can't really focus on anything but it."
Harry's face was burning red by the time she was done. Nevertheless, he surprised Hermione by grabbing her in a hug and saying, "You had me scared there for a minute, Hermione. I thought you had some sort of terminal disease."
Hermione hugged him back, chuckling. "I do," she said. "It's called being a girl."
"I guess so," Harry replied, opening the door for Hermione and letting her lead them back to Gryffindor Tower.
It only took them a few seconds, both of them going in to find Ron waving his wand all around. "What are you doing?" Harry asked, still standing at the entrance with Hermione.
It took a second for Ron to reply, most of his concentration going towards his wand-waving. "Trying…to kill…this…annoying…fly," he said slowly.
It landed on a piece of parchment and Ron triumphantly pointed his wand at it. "Don't, Ron!" Hermione suddenly.
"Why?" Ron inquired, his wand remaining steady.
"That's my charms essay," Hermione replied, taking a step towards him.
"Don't worry," said Ron, waving his free hand in Hermione's direction. "I've done this loads of times."
"No, Ron!" both Harry and Hermione yelled in unison.
"Incendio!" he cried, the spell blasting from the end of his wand.
Everything seemed to go in slow-motion as Harry whipped out his own wand and cast a shield charm, but he was too late. The spell whizzed right past the fly and hit Hermione's essay, which immediately burst into flames.
"Aguamenti!" Harry yelled, dousing the flames…and Ron in the process.
But the damage was done. Three-quarters of the parchment had already been reduced to ash by Ron's spell, and Harry's had soaked the remaining quarter.
Harry turned to look at Hermione, who was looking at the remains of her essay with devastated eyes. He turned back to Ron, who swallowed loudly and weakly said, "At least you like doing homework, right?"
"Grab my wand, Harry," Hermione said in a perfectly normal voice, her eyes fixed on Ron.
Harry grabbed her wand but didn't give it to her. "Give me my wand, Harry," Hermione said dangerously.
Ron scrambled out of his chair and ran up the stairs, slamming the door of the guys' dorm shut. Then Harry handed Hermione her wand, giving her a weak smile. "There you go," he said.
She glared holes through him. "You know girls are allowed up the boys' stairs," she said, taking a step towards said stairs.
Harry grabbed her in a bear hug and pulled, barely making any headway. Hermione was putting up one hell of a fight, and Harry knew that if she had been able to point her wand at him she would've hexed him.
"Let me go, Harry!" Hermione yelled, drawing all attention in the common room to their struggle. "I'm going to kill him!"
"Why do you think I'm dragging you out of here?" Harry grunted through clenched teeth, somehow forcing his best friend through the portrait hole.
Back to the empty classroom they went, Harry immediately disarming Hermione before locking the door. "I'd hate for you to be suspended," he panted, doubled over with his hands on his knees.
"Why'd you stop me?" Hermione shouted, her mood so horrible that she really didn't care about the suspension.
"I just told you," Harry said wearily, standing up to face her.
"I don't care!" Hermione yelled in his face, her own turning red. "That was the last straw! All the crap I've had to put up with from him, he deserves it! This was one of the worst days of my life before that happened!" Her face was now completely red, angry tears collecting in her eyes. "And he thinks he can blow it over by saying I enjoy doing homework?!" By this point, Harry could tell she wasn't breathing right. "I enjoy my free time just as much as he does!" She definitely needed to calm down. "Why does he have to be such a prat sometimes?!" But how was he supposed to do it? "Why can't he just listen to me?!" Ah, to hell with it. "He needs-"
She was silenced by Harry's lips, surprising both of them. He went with it though, giving her a short but tender kiss despite the fact that she didn't react to it at all except to stiffen up. As he pulled away, he decided that it was the best impulse he had ever acted on no matter what the consequences were going to be. That had been the softest, best-tasting, most amazing thing his lips had ever touched…and he immediately wanted to feel it again.
"Harry," Hermione said slowly, her eyes searching his, her rage completely smothered by confusion and awe. "What was-"
Harry cut her off again with another kiss, figuring that since he hadn't received a negative reaction he was free to give her another. Hermione froze for a millisecond before she began to kiss him back, her hands coming up to clutch his shirt as his came to rest on the small of her back.
This time it was Harry who spoke once he had broken the kiss. "The first one was to calm you down; I acted on a whim," he said breathlessly. "The second one was because I really liked the first."
Hermione blushed. "I really liked both," she admitted quietly.
"One more for confirmation?" Harry asked, leaning in and kissing her again before receiving permission.
This time they pulled away a little slower, keeping their faces close together afterwards. "Better than the first two," Hermione whispered.
"Agreed," Harry replied. After a short pause, he added, "What happens now?"
"Well…" Hermione started, trying to get her brain to work again. "D-Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked, her face turning red again. "I mean, obviously I'm not as pretty as Cho or-"
"You're beautiful," Harry said with so much sincerity that it stopped Hermione in her tracks.
"Well, I think you're handsome," she said, biting her lip. Then she leaned up and whispered in his ear, "You could try asking me out and we'll see what happens from there."
"Right," Harry said, mentally kicking himself. Being told by the girl to ask her out, what a fool he was. "Would you, Hermione Jean Granger, like to be my girlfriend?" he asked, impressed that he had managed to keep from stuttering.
"I always told myself I'd go on a date before I allowed that title to be bestowed upon me," said Hermione thoughtfully. "But I don't think that applies to you. So my answer is yes."
Harry grinned, leaning down to taste Hermione's delicious lips again. "Is your day any better yet?" he asked against her mouth, his eyes twinkling.
"Only a little," she replied teasingly, reaching down and intertwining her fingers with Harry's.
"How could it get any better than this?" Harry teased back.
"If you kissed me again," Hermione whispered back sincerely, her beautiful brown eyes never leaving his, her lips barely brushing Harry's as she spoke.
Harry pulled her closer to him and gently pressed his lips against hers, making her day perfect.
A/N: Wow, the end was kind of cheesy (more like really cheesy and a little abrupt). But whatever.
Thanks for reading and please review!