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The best laid plans

Chapter Text

Monday 3rd of January 


Hermione had been too nervous yesterday to tell Harry what Professor McGonagall's punishment was. It wasn't that Harry would be mad at her, she just didn't want to see that look of disappointment. Not in her, but in the loss of their date night, especially since they had already lost their Hogsmeade weekends due to LeStrange. The loss of the one night a week they could just relax together would be a blow to both of them.

But, Hermione had gotten off easily in truth; thirty points and four detentions for putting a fellow student in the hospital wing for at least a night was relatively light.

In fact, she may spend less time in detention than Ron was spending in the hospital wing.


She had also heard that Ron had gotten the same punishment as her, only his detentions were set for Saturdays, when he liked to join in some of the pickup games of Quidditch. In total, her and Ron's ‘fight’ had cost Gryffindor sixty house points.

Things were also frosty with the rest of the Weasleys. Percy, Fred, George and Ginny were all understandably sticking by their brother, even if they understood Hermione protecting her cat. Percy was the coldest at first, as Scabbers had apparently been his first until he had gotten his owl Hermies.


Hermione couldn't understand that. As far as she was concerned, Crookshanks was with her for life. Even if she got a second pet, she would never let anyone else have her baby.

Percy had warmed back up to her considerably once Fay had told him that Crooks had been with her and Hagrid when whatever had happened to Ron's rat occured. Percy had always been one for justice, and he could see that Hermione and Crookshanks clearly couldn’t be blamed for what happened to Scabbers.

The twins were the warmest over all. As far as they were concerned, Hermione may have gone overboard in the moment, but it was all Ron's fault for not keeping a better eye on scabbers, even after he had lost him over Christmas.

Ginny was giving Hermione the silent treatment; the way she saw it, her brother was hurt and Hermione had done it. Nothing else mattered.


--- ϟϟϟ ---


Hermione was currently walking to breakfast with Harry as he was explaining his latest brainwave for his Runes project, "So then, after seeing the charm on the waitress’ phone over Christmas, I was thinking; what if I hung a charm off the handle of the wand? The runes would be etched into the charm and you would actually be summoning the charm, but as it is connected to the wand, the wand would come to. What do you think?"

"I think it's brilliant. I hate the idea of carving runes into my wand, even if the runes wouldn't damage it. What if you made a mistake in the carving? It's not like it could just be undone. You would need to buy a new wand, and people love their wands. I think some would give up a limb before they voluntarily gave up their wands."


Hermione watched Harry for his reaction. He thought about it, before nodding, “I wouldn't have understood it before my first year, but my wand is practically like a limb. It's almost a part of me." A look crossed Harry's face, the same one he got whenever he was hiding something from her. She considered asking but instead thought that coming clean herself might prompt him to tell her himself, 

"Harry, about what happened yesterday-" 

“-Ron was being a total dick, don't worry about it. You were a lot more in control than I was with Aunt Marge."


That Harry saw what Hermione had done as the same as standing up to his abusive aunt gave Hermione a minor internal conflict. On one hand, she could see how Harry would relate the two incidents; they were both defending their familiars from a potentially lethal attack, but comparing Ron's lack of tact when talking with Hermione to the years of abuse Harry had suffered just felt so wrong.

"That's not what I mean Harry. Professor McGonagall, she..." Hermione trailed off, trying to think of the right words.


"Let me guess," Harry picked up in the silence, "I know she docked points from you. I guess she also gave you detention?" Hermione nodded, and Harry shrugged, "Detention isn't that bad Hermione. I know we had a bad experience with your first detention, but you'll probably just need to write lines or something menial, like polishing the trophies," Harry tried to comfort her.

"It's not so much the what that's gotten me down. It's the when ."


"Four nights."

"That's not too bad. You'll breeze through them."

"Four Friday nights ," Hermione finished. She waited to see what his reaction would be.

"Well, that sucks. Still, it's only four, and it's not like we aren't together the rest of the time anyway."


The two of them sat down at the Gryffindor table and helped themselves to the day’s breakfast offering. Given that they had just spent two weeks with her parents and their healthier breakfast options, Hermione had wasn't surprised when Harry started to add stuff like bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, eggs and toast to his plate. Harry didn't indulge in unhealthy breakfasts very often, so Hermione let him get away with it.

He offered to fix her a plate but she refused. While she was getting herself a bowl of porridge, Harry poured each of them a cup of tea.


Hermione took a sip of her tea and was surprised that it was sweet, "Harry you know I don't put sugar in my tea."

" do like your tea sweet."

"Yes, but you know I avoid sugar."

"Good thing I didn't add any sugar then."

Harry was grinning at her. She got a suspicion and tried her tea again. Now that she was looking for it, she could taste the difference, noticing the slightly metallic and dry aftertaste of artificial sweeteners.


Harry, still grinning, held up a small plastic box with a red button on top. It was the same brand of sweetener she used at home, only in little pills instead of a powder.

Harry handed her the dispenser, "I didn't think it was fair that Hogwarts only had sugar and honey, so when I saw this over Christmas, I thought I would grab a few for you."

Hermione was surprised by how touched she was by the small gift. It was only a pack of sweeteners, but it showed how Harry paid enough attention to her to know it was something that she could use, and that he was still thinking about her, even when doing something as mundane as shopping for groceries. She was also a little annoyed at herself for not thinking of a pack of sweeteners, it was obvious in hindsight.


--- ϟϟϟ ---


Tuesday 4th January


Hermione was making her way to the library for one of her study groups. This was one of her newer ones, having only started this year when she had taken Arithmancy. Harry, meanwhile, was off getting sweaty with the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

"Here kitty kitty, come to mummy. Oh wait, that's not my kneazle, just the mudblood pretending," Hermione looked to see who was talking and saw a group of Slytherin and Ravenclaw girls from her year jeering at her. At the front of the group stood Millicent Bulstrode.


Bulstrode had been giving Hermione a hard time ever since their first year, but after the polyjuice indecent it had gotten worse. Hermione's tail and ears were a larger copy of the half-kneazle that the hair had come from.

As the cat was hers, Bulstrode had recognized the tail and ears, figuring out that Hermione had planned and attempted to impersonate her. Ever since then, she was intolerable whenever she caught Hermione alone. She had tried once in front of Harry, but Harry's explosive reaction convinced her not to do so again.


Harry's reaction had also convinced Hermione never to tell him about Bulstrode’s attitude. It was Harry threatening Bulstrode last year that showed the school that Harry wouldn't tolerate people bullying Hermione anymore. And it was Harry's week of detention that convinced Hermione not to tell him about her bullies unless it became a real problem. Fortunately for both Hermione and Bulstrode, the Slytherin only kept her vindictive behaviour towards Hermione at words, so it was nothing for Hermione, or Harry, to get worked up over.


"You really need some new material Bulstrode; the ‘kitty-kitty’ stuff is getting boring. Maybe try asking a five-year-old; I'm sure they could come up with something better," Hermione started back on her way to the library when she was stopped by another voice, "You know mogblood, you should try grovelling. In fact, you should probably start practising every chance you get, before I have it made law that you houseless have to bow before any decent witch or wizard you come across," She turned back towards a smug-looking boy with blond hair; of course, it was Draco Malfoy.


"Houseless? You remember I'm in Gryffindor, right? Or, do we need to get you to Madam Pomfrey? Perhaps have you looked at for head wounds."

"Not school houses you ignorant mudblood. Noble houses, like Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle and Black. The true power of wizarding Britain," Malfoy looked even more smug now than before, if possible, "Once I am seventeen I will be able to claim the vacant seat as the warlock of the house of Black and then the power in the Wizengamot will finally shift to putting you mudbloods and houseless in your proper place. On your knees. Begging for table scraps. Like some type of animal...a cat even," All the Slytherin and Ravenclaw girls had a laugh at the idea of Hermione begging like a cat.


Hermione was not one to be cowed quite that easily and smoothly replied, "If I ever bow to you Malfoy, don't expect to survive it," she turned and walked on to the library, not caring about how they reacted.

She knew she should feel bad about threatening Malfoy, but, thanks to Harry, she knew that Voldemort was alive and was trying to restore himself.

It was a matter of when , not if , there would be another war. 

And, as a Muggleborn, she wouldn't have the option to not get involved and it was obvious what side Malfoy was going to choose. There was a good chance that in the end, it would come to wands between the two of them.


Hermione found half of her study group already setting up at one of the library's larger tables.

Leanne and Fay Dunbar, Terry Boot, Susan Bones were grabbing potentially useful books from the shelves, or snagging a few spare rolls of parchment as they got everything ready for their study session.

Hermione watched Leanne and Fay working together with a new wonder. Before Christmas, Hermione had assumed that Leanne and Fay were cousins that had known each other for years, before Fay had talked about her 'poor excuse of a father' and the 'worthless whore' he had started a new family with.


It turned out, Leanne was not a Dunbar by birth, but had taken the name after her mother had married Fay’s father.

Hermione had expected the two to be at each other's throats, but they seemed to get on well.

Hermione set her things down and joined in setting everything up. She pulled out her homework assignment and had a look at it; anything to concentrate on that would take her mind off the encounter with the bigots. She looked over the number of calculations that had been assigned, wishing that she could bring a calculator to Hogwarts.


--- ϟϟϟ ---


Hermione walked down to Hagrid’s hut, as she had planned to meet Harry there once she was finished with her study group and Harry had finished playing on his broomstick. Hermione needed to thank Hagrid; firstly for the fudge that he had sent them for Christmas.

While it needed softening over a radiator before they could eat it, and Hermione's parents had been horrified at a present with so much sugar in it, Hagrid’s treacle fudge was the one thing Hagrid could cook that Hermione would not only eat, but would gladly go back to have seconds.


More importantly though, she had to thank Hagrid for looking at Crookshanks. Yes, he was fine, but Hermione was immensely grateful that Hagrid had taken the time to check, as well as inadvertently providing her ginger half-kneazle with an alibi for the disappearance of Scabbers.

Hermione knocked on the door and after almost a minute Harry opened it and let her in. Hermione wasn't surprised that Harry had gotten there first; Hagrid's hut was definitely closer to the Quidditch pitch than it was the school.


What did surprise Hermione was that Hagrid wasn't his normal happy self. In fact, he looked like someone had just killed his dog. It wasn't hard for Hermione to put it together; Hagrid loved all animals and Malfoy happened to be at the front of her mind after their encounter earlier.

The Ministry had made its decision, and it didn't look good for Buckbeak.

"Oh Hagrid ! Have the Ministry made their decision on Buckbeak's case?" Hermione asked.


Hagrid nodded, too upset to use words, passing her a piece of parchment with the official seal of the Ministry of magic, both at the head of the page and also embossed into the parchment itself. Hermione read through the letter three times to make sure she understood it all.

Hagrid had apparently been cleared of the charges of ‘negligence’, though Hermione was a little upset that Hagrid hadn't even told them that he was facing such a charge.

Buckbeak, however, was considered a ‘dangerous’ creature and was to be destroyed . There was a mandatory appeal for Buckbeak if Hagrid wanted it though. But, until then, Buckbeak needed to be isolated away from people.


"There is an appeal, so Beaky still has hope. And this time, Harry and I will help. The library has plenty of books on wizarding law," Harry glared at her for volunteering his time, but it lacked any force.

"Hermione is right; this time we'll help you prepare for the trial."

The next hour was filled with her and Harry cheering up Hagrid enough so that Hermione could get the information she needed from her giant-like friend. Information such as the exact charges and how they were worded, so that she could look up the correct laws and help formulate relevant counter-arguments.

Hagrid wasn't as helpful as Hermione had hoped; a combination of being upset at the discussion and just not knowing the laws meant that getting information from him was, ironically, like trying to pull teeth from a Hippogriff. 

A lot of hard work, only to find out that they don't have any teeth.


After that they moved the conversation around to Crookshanks and Christmas presents, "Well that's enough of that. I think I have all the information I need to start the research. Anyway, what we came down here for originally was to thank you for taking a look at Crookshanks."

Harry jumped on the change of topic, "Yeah, and to thank you for the fudge you sent us for Yule. It was totally moreish. Hermione had to hide the box from her parents cause they kept thieving pieces from."


Hermione had to stifle a giggle at the memory.

Her parents had seen the tin of fudge and had started talking about ‘ how too much sugar can rot teeth ’, but both had a piece once Hermione had softened the rock-hard fudge, only ‘just to try ’, and after that had they kept going back for more. They even went as far as to say they are doing it to protect Hermione and Harry's teeth.

Hagrid brightened up as Harry and Hermione recounted what had happened over Christmas, even getting a laugh out of him when they told him of trying to get away from Hermione's Nan for a morning to go to Diagon Alley.

When the two left, Hagrid was in much higher spirits than they had found him.


--- ϟϟϟ ---


Thursday 6th January


Harry and Hermione were sat waiting for their next lesson in the Runes classroom. They’d had herbology just before lunch, with the cleaning charms Hermione had picked up from her copy of ' a compendium of household charms' helping the two to clean up quicker, meaning that they had gotten to lunch rather quickly, instead of having to detour to clean the dirt off their hands in a bathroom. Because of this, they managed to finish their meal just as the main crowd of students was arriving.

Rather than waiting around and being jostled in the crowd, the two of them had decided that they would go wait outside their next class, where they could talk in relative peace and quiet.

Earlier in the year, they would have gone outside for some fresh air, but the January weather wasn't something that Hermione felt like braving just for fun. Before Christmas, the snow was at least a pretty scene to view, but now it was mostly very cold and very wet mush. When they arrived, they found the room empty, and since Professor Babbling's class was mostly focused on quills, ink and parchment, containing little of value or danger, the Professor rarely bothered to lock the room.


The two of them had gladly taken the opportunity to sit in relatively comfortable chairs instead of standing in the unheated corridors. Harry was a little disappointed that Hermione wanted to go over their Christmas homework again before class, instead of taking advantage of the empty class, with no one around, but had quickly seen the wisdom when she reminded him that someone could walk in at any moment after guessing at what he was thinking about.

They are halfway through their work when they were in fact interrupted.

Two students came crashing through the door.


At first, Hermione thought they were fighting, but she was quick to blush as she realised that the two of them weren't fighting at all , but were kissing. More surprising was who the two students were.

Daphne Greengrass and Tracy Davies had been so caught up in each other that they hadn't even noticed Hermione and Harry. The two Slytherins continued to kiss for a moment, before turning round to see the two Gryffindor students staring at them in disbelief, and then the two of them froze like rabbits caught in the headlights of a car.


Harry was the first to find his voice after a moment of silence between the two pairs, "Well...that was a surprise. Did the two of you have a good Christmas?"

The three girls just stared at him for almost a minute, before Tracy spoke up, a little meekly, "It was...good. We’ve been meaning to catch you both since you got back, to thank you for the Christmas presents."


After Christmas, when Harry no longer had to worry about his girlfriend finding out her present, he had told her about the records he had sent to both Daphne and Tracy.

" I should be the one thanking you ," Hermione replied, "If you hadn't helped Harry, I never would’ve gotten such an amazing gift from him," Hermione was starting to put her thoughts back together after what she had seen. It wasn’t that she disapproved, it was just unexpected and had sent her mind reeling.


"So...are we just going to ignore what happened?" Daphne, who normally looked impervious to everything that happened around her, looked shockingly nervous.

"Do you want to talk about it? Harry doesn't seem to mind, and I know I don't," Hermione tried to be as sympathetic as she could. Seeing the cool and in control Daphne so nervous was a red flag, as it showed that Daphne was definitely worried about something.

"Can the two of you please keep mine and Tracy's relationship to your selves, please? It's just..."

"...The details aren’t really important, but her mother wouldn't approve, so can you two please keep it quiet?" Tracy finished for her.


Neither Harry nor Hermione hesitated to give their word of secrecy. Hermione's parents had always thought her to be accepting of people and their life choices*. Harry hadn't been told such things with the Dursleys. In fact, his aunt and uncle had called such people immoral freaks. This, however had the opposite effect on Harry than they wanted; if the Dursleys didn't like such people, then fine, but Harry was determined not to be like them, and as such, didn’t take their stance on the matter.


Daphne looked a little surprised that they had given their word so quickly and easily, but recovered her ice-queen like persona, "Thank you," she said as she and Tracy took their normal seats at the same table as Harry and Hermione. Tracy took the opportunity to sit as close as physically possible to Daphne, no longer uncomfortable with affectionate displays in front of them.

Harry tried to break the tension that threatened to build, "At least you have someone who you can talk to about everything now."

Tracy nodded, "That's true. It's a little stressful not being able to tell anyone."

"That raises a question. If you need to be so careful and everything, how did you not check the room before you uh..." Hermione trailed off, trying to figure out a mature way to say what she wanted to say.

Harry picked up the sentence, however, before she could think of something, "...before you burst in, trying to eat each others faces?"


Hermione slapped Harry in the arm for his crude phrasing, "Like your technique is any better!" Tracy just giggled at The two of them.

Harry just smiled back at her, unfazed, and asked, "Do you think I need more practice?"

Hermione was surprised that Harry had flirted with her, only because Daphne and Tracy were there, and up until now he had always been more weary around the two Slytherins. Harry's flirting was something he had been getting more confident with for a while.


Hermione went along with it, leaning closer to him, as if she was going to kiss him, "Lots more practice,” she said in a slightly sultry tone, and just as Harry leaned in to accept her kiss, she moved her head back to avoid his searching lips, " However ...we first need to go over our Christmas homework!" She smiled wickedly.

Tracy laughed at the two of them, and even Daphne's icy mask cracked a little smile, while Harry cried foul, literally, "Foul! That is so not fair."

Hermione only continued to smile at him, "Dear, all is fair in love and war."


Daphne chipped in, "There's a difference?"

Tracy groaned, "That explains you so much Daph."

This time it was Harry and Hermione who laughed, "But anyway, Harry's idiocracy aside, how come you didn't check the room?" Hermione nudged the conversation back on track.


"Well, this room is always empty Thursday lunchtime, and I did look, but maybe we became a little complacent as I couldn't have looked properly,” Daphne answered, "Honesty, we are lucky it is you two. Someone else might not be so accommodating to keeping our secret."

Tracy nodded, "I know for a fact that at least half of the Slytherins in our year would try and blackmail us."

Hermione was a little surprised that Tracy assumed that so many of her close companions would try to hold and use something like that against them, "I thought that wizarding Britain was a lot more relaxed about homosexually than the Muggle world. Because you didn't have the Christian religion and its hatred of such people, I heard the wizarding world was fairly accepting of them."


Tracy explained, "On the whole, you are right. But, individuals can still have their own opinions."

"I get that, but I'm surprised that so many in Slytherin would be against it."

"Oh no, they aren't, but Slytherin house is a place for the cunning. Everyone is always looking for a weakness to exploit, to give them an edge."

"Well, we won't tell anyone, will we Hermione?"

"No, definitely not."

Before the conversation could go any further, their classmates started to arrive as lunch had ended. With the promise to keep Daphne and Tracy's relationship to themselves, the conversation moved to polite chit chat.

Hermione let Harry recount their Christmas as she pulled her homework and pretend to finish reading it, though she was only pretending as she was taking the time to puzzle out something else. It was something that she hadn't ever thought about until their conversation with Daphne and Tracy. Something she found confusing, and maybe a little interesting.


--- ϟϟϟ ---


Friday 7th January


Hermione knocked on the door to Professor McGonagall's office at precisely seven o'clock. There was no answer, so after a few moments she tried again with the same result. Hermione, now fairly frustrated and unable to just leave, had to wait there.

After five or six minutes, she was considering just leaving a note and going to the library to do some more research for Buckbeak's case, but before she could pull out a bit of parchment, Professor McGonagall came striding down the corridor.


"I apologize for being late Miss Granger; a few of the N.E.W.T students stopped me after dinner to ask about their homework, and I lost track of time a little," She opened the door to her office and motioned for Hermione to go in first. She pointed to the one side of her desk where there was a chair and a stack of parchment waiting.

"You'll be helping me with my marking. These-" she indicated the stack of parchment, "-Are the Yule homework assignments for my first and second years. You will underline everything they got wrong, and on a separate piece of parchment, you will write out a correction for the parts that are wrong. Then, stick your corrections to the assignment. You know how I mark by now. Afterwards, stack them for me to check and grade. That will free up enough of my time to focus on the homework from the O.W.L students. I trust that you remember the work from your first two years here."


Hermione was a little stunned that she would be correcting homework for her detention. She had expected lines or something like that, but then she remembered Hagrid’s words from her first detention, "You'll do something useful. That's ‘ow it's done at Hogwarts."

Hermione sat down in the chair and picked up the first assignment; it was from a first-year Hufflepuff. Once she had read through it, she reckoned about a third of it was wrong. As instructed, she underlined the parts that were wrong and wrote up a page of corrections. She put the assignment and the corrections together with a weak variant of a sticking charm, then set them aside and moved on to the next.


Hermione soon found her rhythm and lost herself in the work. She found herself writing out the same corrections a lot, as a number of students seemed to have the same misunderstandings. It was boring, but it was also a good review of the topics covered.

It was half-past eight when Hermione had finished correcting the last assignment and Professor McGonagall let her go.

Hermione left the Professor's office and began meandering her way back to the common room.

She thought that the detention itself wasn't too bad at all.

The bigger punishment was missing out on her night with Harry.


She was just wondering if she could salvage an hour in the common room with him. Technically, it would put them past the third years nine o'clock curfew, but it wasn't unusual for students to stay in the common room past curfew, as long as they didn't disturb a prefect by being too loud, or if their head of house didn't come by. Not that Professor McGonagall came by Gryffindor tower all that often.

Hermione was startled out of her thoughts when something grabbed a hold of her and pulled her into an alcove. Hermione was just about to take a swing at whomever or whatever it was, but two things stopped her. Firstly, she couldn't see them, and secondly, whatever it was spoke, "It's me."


" Harry James Potter, what on Earth do you think you are doing!?" Hermione was quite a bit mad that Harry had just grabbed her like that.

Hermione saw a silvery ripple in the air, and the next thing she knew, she was under Harry's invisibility cloak with him, "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. Can you just trust me for a bit and come with me?"

Hermione decided that she would see what Harry was up to before she decided if she was truly mad at him or not, “Fine. Lead the way, but curfew is in about twenty minutes."


Harry flashed her his biggest grin and simply said, "Let me worry about that."

The two of them still fit under the cloak well enough, but Hermione was glad it was Harry she was under it with. It would have been awkward to be pressed so close to almost anyone else.

Harry lead her to the Room of Requirement before she decided to question him, "Harry, what are you planning?"

"Go in and have a look," He was still wearing that annoying but stupidly handsome grin of his.


Hermione checked that the corridor was clear before she slipped from under the cloak and into the room.

The room was similar to how they normally set it up, but it was the changes that stood out. Most noticeably, at first, the room was lit with about fifty candles; some over the fireplace, some in sconces on the walls and some just floating in the air. There were bunches of blue and white flowers on every crevice, giving the room a splash of colour and a sweet floral scent.

The gramophone was the same one the room always conjured, but the record that was playing was one of the relaxing ones she had brought to school this term. She had no clue how Harry had gotten it from her dorm room.


The biggest change was that the sofa was gone from in front of the fire. Instead, there was a giant sheepskin rug on the floor that was way too big to have ever come from a single sheep. A number of giant cushions were next to the rug and there was a low table that was laid out with a full cheeseboard, with crackers, fruits and chutneys, along with a few bottles of what, at first glance, looked to be white wine, but on closer inspection was just grape juice in a fancy bottle.

Hermione heard Harry step in behind her. He put his arms around her and pulled her close against him, "Happy anniversary love."


Hermione melted against him.

Their anniversary was a contentious issue between them, because they didn't agree on when it was; Hermione considered it to be when Harry had told Ron that ‘he was going to stand by Hermione no matter what’ . That was between Christmas and New Year.

Harry considered it to be the day he had manned up and asked her to be his girlfriend, which had been on the ninth. As Hermione had already considered them boyfriend and girlfriend at that point, she had been a little confused, but had said yes immediately.


The seventh was actually the anniversary of something they did agree on.

Their first kiss. 

Hermione smiled as she remembered it; she and Harry had been relaxing on her bed in the hospital wing as he read to her, when she had basically jumped him. Her body chemistry was out of whack from the transformation, and that had made her much bolder than her natural temperament. She had clambered on top of him and Harry, frozen in surprise, hadn't tried to stop her at all. It had taken Harry almost a minute of her lips pressed against his for him to start kissing her back.


Of course that was when Madam Pomfrey just had to come in, see them and break them up. As well as doing a whole host of diagnostic charms on Hermione.

After that, Madam Pomfrey had put Hermione on a suppression potion, and things with Harry had calmed down immediately, but neither of them had even considered wanting to return to being just friends.


"I thought we were going to do something tomorrow? We don't really have time before curfew," Hermione was concerned about being late back to the common room right after detention. Breaking curfew the same day as being punished seemed to be tempting fate.

Harry was still grinning at her. "Well...we could leave right now and go straight to bed and we should just about make it. Or..." he drew out that one word for a short while, "...we could stay here all night. As long as we stay in here and don't go wandering the corridors, no one will know."


"Our dorm mates will kn-"

Harry cut her off, "It's taken care of. It's up to you; we can stay and have our night, or we can go back to the common room."

Hermione hesitated.

She wanted to stay. It was their first year anniversary, but did she dare risk it?

"Are you sure you covered everything ?"

"Yes. I snuck out after going up to the dorm and closed my curtains and put a silencing charm on them. I had Dobby do the same to yours, so anyone who looks will just assume that you’re sleeping. McGonagall never checks the dorms anyway, and the perfects and teachers patrol the corridors, not the rooms. And even if they patrolled the corridors, I doubt they know about this place," Harry explained.


Hermione felt her resolve crumble, "Oh, screw it. Let’s stay; but if we end up in the forest again, I'm totally blaming you," She kicked off her boots and took off her robe, revealing more comfortable clothing underneath. She had changed out of her school uniform after class and had decided against putting it back on for detention, just covering her casual apparel with her school robes. She sat down on the soft rug and used a few of the cushions to make herself comfortable.

Harry soon joined her his own boots and robe discarded. Harry had also changed out of his uniform, only he had dressed in the blue shirt she liked on him. He had dressed to look good instead of for comfort.


They talked for over an hour while nibbling at the food. Neither of them were overly hungry, but it made a good snack. Harry was surprised to learn that Professor McGonagall had Hermione correcting the homework from the first and second years. She also told him how her Arithmancy class was going.

He told her about how Wood was getting more and more obsessed with winning the Quidditch Cup and about how his Runes project was coming. He was apparently looking for some fake wands that he could use for testing.


Before long, the two of them were done with talking and Hermione decided that she would mark the day by recreating their first kiss. They hadn't kissed with quite that intensity since their first-ever time. Yes, they had gotten close a few times recently, but never quite there .

Hermione quickly swung herself so that she was sitting on top of her boyfriend as he laid there, propped up by a few cushions. At first he was surprised, but the look on his face quickly changed to that goofy grin of his that drove her nuts.

Hermione thought that Harry had been hoping that she would do this.


Under the effect of her suppression potion, she lacked the wild abandon that she had had that first time, but as she took his lips this time, she was no less enthusiastic.

This was her boyfriend; they had been together for a year now. There was no need for hesitation or second thoughts. Harry enthusiastically joined her as his lips met hers.

As her tongue invaded his mouth, she felt Harry respond underneath her.

Her own body responded as well.


They weren't ready for that step yet, but there was a big part of her that wished they were.

She felt Harry's hand slide over her ass then jerk away as he realised exactly where it was.

Hermione quickly considered how she would deal with it. Then, without breaking their kiss, she grabbed his hand and put it back on her posterior.

It was a really good end to a less than great week