after a hard day Harry blurts out a question then realises he had no idea
Getting a clue
The portrait door to the Gryffindor common room whipped itself open with no small amount of force. The Fat lady guardian of the portal to the Gryffindor common accommodations could be heard muttering about the rudeness of students in this age when her comment was cut off with the slamming of the same portrait against the stone of the tower wall. Hermione looked up and around sharply to see Harry stalking across the common room brow furrowed and a look that would burn a line in the floor tiles if all things were equal.
"Bloody greasy haired git! One day..." Harry muttered darkly.
Ron and Hermione watched Harry as he marched toward the couch facing the fireplace. As he crossed the middle of the room his book bag slipped off his shoulder onto the floor crushing a scroll of homework as it landed. Harry seemed to not care about the bag and not notice the eyes of his 2 best friends following him as he rounded the end of the couch and flopped into his normal place his scowl turning toward the fire. Had there been anyone in the common room other than Ron and Hermione they likely would have thought that this might not be the best place to be right now and in fact the forbidden forest actually sounded kind of inviting and a damn site safer right now.
Hermione looked to Ron and they shared a worried and confused look.
"Harry are you ok?" Hermione and Ron questioned at the same time.
Harry looked up at the two of them his face clearing for a moment in recognition of their presence.
"Don't want to talk about it!" he replied.
"Come on mate you can tell us what's up were your friends were here to help!" countered Ron.
Hermione noticing the breeze in the room and the spluttering of the candle flames looked about a moment in realization of the rising of the levels of wild magic in the room.
"RON!" she said sharply "Drop it. Harry will tell us when he's ready... OK!"
Startled at her tone of voice Ron looked over at Hermione catching the worried look in her eyes and then looking back to Harry to see the look in his eyes that would have left him with a 2 inch hole in his forehead if looks could kill. With a brief burst of world class survival instinct he thought to himself that this might not be the best time to approach the subject. He then raised himself out of the easy chair walked to the middle of the room. Absently he scooped Harry's books and homework off the floor placed them on a nearby desk and started pacing thoughtfully across the floor while seamlessly slipping back to the conversation he had been having with Hermione.
"So anyway ... the meeting I had with the British Professional Quidditch players Association about getting there help to train up and coming players went really well. I think we will be able to swing some players to help develop the house teams this season."
Hermione s looked at Ron in wonder shaking her head. How could he ignore Harry's obvious mood and just go on with things that were in here opinion and given the state Harry was in she was sure of her justification for said opinion less than important, was he not worried about Harry ... no that's not it Ron may be an insensitive git at times but even he wasn't that bad. He must be trying to take Harry's mind off things. She smiled realizing that Ron wasn't trying to ignore Harry's mood but rather give him something else to concentrate on. At least she hoped that's what he was doing.
Turning her head back to look at Harry her eyes caught his and she found herself getting lost in the vibrant emerald green. With a mental sigh her mind began to drift.
"They say the eyes are the windows to the soul" she thought to herself smiling, "well if that's true there is no more beautiful soul on this planet than Harry's"
This was not a new thought to Hermione and it had been clawing its way to the surface of her thoughts more often of recent times in fact if she were to analyze it and let's face it being Hermione Granger consummate bookworm the chances of that happening were pretty good then she would have to say that these thoughts had started soon after the whole debacle in the department of mysteries.
As Harry was looking back down from giving Ron the stare of death his eyes caught Hermione in profile and he couldn't help but watch her as she turned back to face him as their eyes met he couldn't tear himself away from the chocolate brown pools that were her eyes and for a few moments he ceased to think of anything other than the warm feelings that always managed to overtake him whenever he got lost in those eyes.
"/My god dose she realize what she does to me?"/ he thought.
"If I could... I would stay here like this for ever... ok Harry get a grip on yourself mate she's your best friend and you know there is no way she thinks of you like that?" supplied Harry's internal guiding thoughts.
Like Hermione this thought was not new to Harry either. In fact he had had a long time to think about it when he was lying depressed in his room at privet drive last summer. Those 4 weeks at the start of summer that year almost broke him. Sure he had lost Sirius and that hurt but not even the memory of Bellatrix forcing Sirius through the veil could provoke the depth of hurt that had paralyzed him for those few stark moments when he thought that Hermione s was dead.
Even now there was a good amount of guilt around the fact that the death of his godfather had not had anywhere near the effect that the image of seeing Hermione lying on the ground bleeding with the certain knowledge that she was dead had.
"/What would I do without her? She is my guiding light."/ he thought.
Still pacing back and forth with his head bowed in thought Ron continued to explain to Harry and Hermione the thoughts he was having about how he could make the team better all the time completely oblivious to his two beast friends who were sitting on either end of the couch staring into each other's eyes all the while there heads were ever so slowly inching toward each other.
With his head tilting to one side slightly and his vision still locked solidly on the brown orbs in front of him while another not so new thought surfaced within Harry.
"I love her ... I can't help but loving her and I wish I could tell her ... where is all that Gryffindor courage now ... sure give me a dark wizard with a passion for ruling the world, a hardon for discontinuing my life and a prophecy that seems to speak of a 50/50 chance of my survival at best and I'm the first one out the door to ace him... but face me with one stunningly beautiful best friend who I'm head over heels in love with and I can't even bring myself tell her... mental. Great now I'm channeling Ron"
Hermione didn't even notice Harry's head tilt slightly to the side she was so lost in her own thoughts and the emerald green of his eyes.
"/I love you Harry potter"/ she thought to herself "if only you loved me back ... oh god what am I going to do if this goes on for any longer I'm going to go insane! Maybe I'm already insane. No that's not it. Ok then smarty pants then why are you arguing with yourself about it..."
Hermione s mind skipped back to the middle of last summer at Grimwald place and the long conversation she had had with Harry she could still remember the look of shock and horror on his face as she petrified him from the neck down and put a silence charm on him so that she could tell him that the entire department of mysteries thing was not his fault. ok he was tricked into going there and he didn't listen to her about it but it was not his fault. After an hour or so of her calmly talking to him about it she removed the silence charm and he had agreed that she was right.
That was the breakthrough moment for Hermione that was when she knew that for better or worse she was in love with Harry and that there was no force on this earth that could make her leave his side while she still drew breath. Of course telling Harry that was out of the question as she was completely sure he loved her as a sister rather in that deep... weak in the knees... panty moistening way that she loved him and to keep their friendship strong she would just have to suffer in silence.
At the same time as that memory was rolling across Hermione s mind Harry was trying to convince himself that there friendship was strong enough to survive the admission that he loved her in such a deep way that he wanted her to share everything with her including the Potter name.
"/Where the hell did that come from?/" he thought to himself, "well I guess it's true... I would be the happiest wizard on earth if I could wake up next to this angel every morning. The question is should I risk telling her?"
Harry and Hermione s internal monologues continued for a good half an hour each of them thinking of how much they loved the other and how great it would be to have that love returned. At the same time they both knew that the chances of that love being returned were about the same as Voldemort sending Harry a note telling him.
Sorry I just couldn't wait for you. So I decided to save you the trouble and kill myself.
That chance being somewhere less than none! However they were also both quite wrong in that assessment.
During the time that Harry and Hermione were sitting gazing into each other's eyes and Ron was pacing back and forth unwittingly talking to himself Ginny and professor McGonagall were up in the 5th year girls dorm talking about Harry and Hermione trying to come up with an answer to the question that had been plaguing them for the last 6 months. That question being how they could make Harry and Hermione see what everyone else in the castle saw. The feelings they had for each other were well known about the castle, well they were well known to everyone but Harry and Hermione.
Standing and heading for the stairs to the common room with a shake of her head professor McGonagall turned to Ginny with a sigh.
"You know Ginny I'm starting to think that you may be right!" Professor McGonagall admitted.
"About what?" asked Ginny as they walked down the stairs.
"love potion may be the only way to get those two to see the light... but if we do use one I don't want to be on the same continent when they find out!" grinned the professor.
Gasping and barely suppressing a giggle Ginny stepped out of the stair well and stopped dead in her tracks. The surprised professor only just avoided walking into her but before she could ask why Ginny had stopped so suddenly she took in the scene that was laid out before her and quickly clamped her hand to her mouth.
Ginny and Professor McGonagall stood there rooted to the spot for about 5 min watching Harry and Hermione sitting on the couch looking into each other's eyes ignoring Ron who was still pacing back and forward talking nonstop about Quidditch
Sitting there still wrapped up in their own little slice of the world Harry and Hermione were slowly coming to the same conclusion.
"I have to tell her she deserves to know and even though I know she doesn't love me like that I'm sure our friendship will be strong enough" Harry thought
"I have to know how he feels about me... I'm sure there is nothing there but I have to know"
"So should we tell Ron that he's being ignored?" Ginny asked the older woman with a smirk.
"I would think that it's only fair." Replied the professor with a small grin of her own.
Watching for a few more moments Ginny stepped out of the doorway where she had previously stopped and walked over to Ron catching him at the end of one of his passes gently catching his arm as he turned. Surprised at the contact that he had no idea was coming Ron turned and looked at Ginny who smiled at him and gently gestured over at the couch where Harry and Hermione were still enraptured with each other the faces now only about 2 feet apart.
"Ron?" said Ginny quietly getting her brothers attention.
"Arrr yeah Gin" he replied just as quietly as he turned to face her.
"I don't know how long you have been talking to those two." Explained Ginny gesturing toward the couch, "Nor do I know when they stopped listening to you but Professor McGonagall and I have been watching you pace up and down for about 5 minutes and those two haven't moved except to get closer to each other"
Ron's head snapped back to the couple on the couch and his eye took on somewhat of an amused gleam.
Seeing the look in his eye Professor McGonagall stepped over to the read haired siblings and frowned.
"Ronald what are you planning?" she questioned.
Ron turned to Professor McGonagall affecting a look of innocence and said, "Nothing at all professor... well almost nothing"
Before his sister or head of house could say anything he turned and stepped toward the couch carefully leaning over the back he lowered himself so that his face was almost directly between the couple making sure not to block their line of site. Looking first at Harry then at Hermione and smiled.
For a long moment Ginny thought her brother would back away and let the moment pass when he surprised her.
"Harry, Hermione, err... would you two like to be alone?" commented Ron.
Hearing his question Ginny gasped and struggled to hold in the mirth that was welling up inside her.
The sound of Ron's voice so close to Harry and Hermione caused them to both to crash back to reality at the same time.
"yes ... NO!" the young couple replied at the same time with much the same startled tone of voice as they each turned to face Ron with blush rising quickly up their cheeks. Finally taking in the other 3 occupants of the room Harry and Hermione looked back at each other.
"Hermione?" said Harry, while at exactly the same time Hermione spoke his name, "Harry?"
A pair of short feminine laughs could be heard in the background as Ron backed away from the pair on the couch with a broad grin on his face
Somewhat nervous with the situation Hermione looked at Harry and smiled, "you first Harry!"
About to object and offer for Hermione to go first Harry decided that if he didn't say what he was going to say now he may well loose the nerve to say it at all. Staying silent for a minute or so he looked deep into her eyes completely forgetting the presence of Ron, Ginny and the deputy headmistress.
"Mione... Will you marry me?" he asked nervously while making a complex gesture with his free hand he silently conjured an engagement ring.
Hermione sat back in shock her hand clamping to her mouth and started shaking as adrenalin started pumping through her system.
Ron was shocked by what he was hearing. He knew Harry was in love with Hermione but that was still not what he was expecting. Looking about the room he didn't believe he had heard Harry right until he saw his sister standing there in shocked surprise with her mouth hanging open the look a clear indication he had in fact heard correctly.
"BLOODY HELL" exclaimed Ron loudly after a moment of silence in the room.
Snapping out of her surprise Hermione looked at Ron admonishing, "RON... language!"
Ron smiled back at Hermione shook his head and replied, "Nope this is definitely a Bloody Hell moment!"
Hermione sat there stunned at what she had herd. Her mind started churning through the last 30 seconds of time in order to discover if there were any inconsistencies that she needed to be aware of and at the same time a glimmer of hope filtered into her brain. Maybe... just maybe there was more to Harry's feelings for her than she realized. Thinking about it Harry had been watching her with something extra in his eyes lately but she hadn't been able to work out what it was so she put it down to his thankfulness of the help her intelligence gave him. But now with that one query her mind had decided to spin off on a different answer for that look and the answer that it was quickly arriving at made her all warm and fuzzy in places that weren't talked about in polite company. The excitement that was welling up from those places was making her giddy and she loved the feeling.
Watching Hermione since the question fell from his lips Harry started to worry that she was going to decline and confirm his worst fear. That was what he expected when he asked the question. The outcome was never in doubt in his own mind. Admittedly this question was not his intended comment but if he were to be honest with himself it was exactly what he wanted. Not that he wanted to get married tomorrow mind you, but thinking about it he felt that Hermione deserved to know the full extent of his feelings and really that one question said it all in the shortest possible least likely to be garbled way. A long engagement was not an unhappy idea besides he still had to deal with Voldemort. Arrr well the question was out there now and couldn't be taken back so it was time to try and save their friendship and to do that an explanation was required.
"Hermione ... I know this is sudden and out of the blue." Harry started to explain "But you mean more to me..."
Looking back at Harry with a loving look on her face Hermione whispered, "Yes!"
"Than anything on earth..." Harry continued not realizing she had spoken, "Hermione... I would be lost without you... you're..."
"Yes!" she interrupted again slightly louder this time.
"You're... well you're my reason for living... I love you so much it hurts..."
Hermione shook her head and smiled, Harry was nervous and he was starting to babble in a most un-Harry way although she had to admit it was quite endearing.
"Harry! Listen to me." Exclaimed Hermione with her voice rising in near exasperation, "YES!!"
"Oh ok" replied Harry starting to look dejected.
Harry knew she would say no and one part of his mind was busy saying 'See I told you so!' while the other part was tapping its foot patiently waiting for his brain to finish processing the sound compare it with the word no and then get a handle on the fact that the two didn't match. The part of his brain that was tasked with making this comparison was confused, something was wrong and it took a moment for the realization to dawn on him that not only was yes very different to no they had quite different meanings.
Harry's head came up with a startled look "hang on... yes? ... WHAT"
Smiling Hermione looked into Harry's eyes and placed her hands on his cheeks, "Yes my love of course I will marry you."
Pulling his face toward her Hermione tilted her head to the side and gently brushed her lips to his. One hand slid up the back of his head to weave its way into his messy hair and hold his head to hers the other hand coming down to rest on his chest.
Sighing into their first kiss Harry smiled to himself. "Oh I was sooo wrong... thank god?"
Breaking off from the passionate first kiss for the couple Harry smiled and gently gave her another quick kiss as he noticed the pout on her lips. She looked like a toddler whose favorite toy had been taken away. He smiled at her and turned to see Ginny and Ron had left the common room and professor McGonagall was halfway out the portrait hole.
"Professor?" Harry called after her.
Looking back into the common room the professor replied, "Yes Mr. Potter?"
"Arrr... I was wondering if we could use your floo. I think I need to have a conversation with Mr. Granger?"
Grinning back at the happy couple on the couch the professor replied, "I think that can be allowed Mr. Potter"
"Oh and I'm glad you figured this out, we were thinking we might have to resort to a love potion to get you two to see the light. Come and see me in my office when you want to talk to the Grangers Harry. "
Harry and Hermione looked at each other not understanding.
"Love potions Professor?" Hermione s questioned.
"Yes Mrs. Granger. Love potion" the professor replied "you two have been dancing around your feelings for each other for about 3 years now!"
Harry looked at Hermione with a shrug and reached up to slip a hand behind her head and pulled her to his waiting lips gently pulling her with him as he sank into a couch that was slowly transfiguring itself to make room for them to lie down.
With a last wistful look the professor shook her head turned and finished exiting the common room muttering "I will never figure out how that boy did that to the couch with his mind otherwise occupied!"