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Chapter 3

At the Lake

Thunderstorms never used to scare Hermione. But, since she was no longer under the protection of Hogwarts and Dumbledore, she was terrified. She couldn’t help thinking that Voldemort was going to get her. She new it was slightly childish, but the dangers were real.

Just as she thought the storm was dying down, there was a large crash of thunder accompanied by numerous flashes of lightening. Rain splattered the window hard and wind whistled against the window pane.

Hermione whimpered lightly as she tossed her light covers back and got out of bed. She walked quickly across the room in her purple and white striped pajama shorts and matching purple tank top. When she opened the door, she almost ran into Ginny. Ginny opened her moth to speak, but another crash of thunder interrupted her. Both girls ran straight for the boys’ room. Ginny flung open the door and they jumped into the closest bed.

It was Harry’s, and he was awake. “I was waiting for you two to come running in,” he chuckled.

Ron sat up in his bed, he had been awake, too. “Since when are yo two afraid of thunderstorms?” he asked the two girls.

“Since... recently,” Hermione didn’t want to say “Since Dumbledore died and Voldemort is still out there.”

Another crash and many flashes. Hermione’s fear made her heart race, pumping blood quickly. Which meant that the potion was also pumping quickly throughout her veins. She jumped to Ron’s bed. She curled up to him and he held her close. Ron was not so much afraid, but the potion was still in effect. He grinned as she buried her face in his chest.

Ginny was still perched on Harry’s bed and looked like she was debating whether to hold on to her ex-boyfriend, Harry, or go to her brother. Harry was glaring slightly at Ron; jealous.

Shuffling footsteps were heard outside the door. Then, the door opened. It was Mr. Weasley.

“I heard running. What’s going on?” he asked groggily.

“Hermione and Ginny were afraid of the thunderstorm,” Ron replied.

“Oh, well, go back to bed girls,” Mr. Weasley yawned and shuffled back down the hall.

Another crash made all four teens jump.

“I can’t sleep with this!” Ginny exclaimed.

Ron sighed. “I guess we could all go down to the living room.”

Hermione sat up so Ron could get up and grab his wand.

“Lumos,” he said. The room lit up with the soft, white light. Ron and Harry both took their blankets and a few pillows. Hermione and Ginny went back to their rooms to get their blankets and pillows.

In the living room, the boys moved the couch back and the girls moved the coffee table out of the way. Then, they all settled into their blankets as a rather long crash of thunder shook the walls. They all talked for about two hours before the storm ended and they fell asleep.

Hermione dreamed that she was out in the garden with Ron. They were kissing again. She was wearing a pale yellow sundress and he was wearing khakis with a blue and green button down shirt. Her hair was beautifully curled and gracefully flowing in the wind. Ron’s hair was back to how it was in their third year at Hogwarts.

They were at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. It was being held at the Burrow. Hermione and Ron had escaped the crowds of wedding guests and were peacefully kissing in the orange light of the sunset.

Suddenly, mid-kiss, Ron became Harry. Hermione stopped kissing Harry and looked at him. She rested her forehead against his and whispered “I love you, Harry”

Harry smiled warmly and said “I lo-.”Hermione woke up with a start. She sat up and looked around. The sun was rising and there were rain drops glistening on the window. Ron, Harry, and Ginny were all still asleep. Ron, who was to her right, was facing her. Hermione settled close to him and watched his face as he slept.

“I wonder what that dream meant? It was very strange,” she thought and sighed. Her breath hit Ron in the face and he stirred. She quickly pretended to sleep. She felt him put his arm around her and pull her closer to him. She smiled mentally and fell back to sleep.

******

When Hermione woke up next, she was being gently moved by Ron. Him and Harry were going to the kitchen for breakfast. Ginny was still asleep, also.

Hermione opened her eyes to see Ron moving her aside so he could get up. He smiled down at her. She lifted the corners of her mouth in a lazy smile.

“Go back to sleep,” he whispered as he stood up and went into the kitchen with Harry.

She rolled over and stared out the window. The sun was out but there were grey clouds in the sky. There were no bird songs to be heard. It was very still besides the slight breeze. Hermione heard the boys’ voices along with Mr.and Mrs. Weasleys’ voices. They were talking about school supplies that would be needed for their seventh year at Hogwarts. Hermione was interested, so she got out of her blankets and walked to the kitchen.

“Good morning, everyone! Some storm we had last night,” she said brightly as she plopped down into a seat across from Harry and Ron.

“I told you to go back to sleep,” Ron said playfully.

“Ron, we were talking about school stuff and books. Of course Hermione had to be in here,” Harry joked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled as she took some toast. It was the truth, and she wasn’t going to deny it.

“Mrs. Weasley, what kind of work loads did your older children have in their seventh year?” she asked.

“Well, it depends on your courses, dear. What are you taking?” Mrs. Weasley asked in return.

“Almost all of them,” Hermione blushed.

“You’ll definitely have a large work load then,” Mrs. Weasley said almost pityingly.

“Don’t ask Fred and George, they’re drop-outs,” Ron snickered.

“Ronald,” Mrs. Weasley sighed in warning.

Ginny came in and sat next to Hermione.

“Good morning, Ginny,” Hermione greeted her.

“Morning,” Ginny replied tiredly.

“Speaking of Fred and George; they both left in quite a hurry the other night. I’m not sure if I should worry or not,” Mr. Weasley said.

“Everyone seems to have all of their limbs attached with no extras,” Hermione joked and looked under the table.

Everyone laughed except for Ginny. Her eyes were narrowed in thought. “I think... never mind,” she said as she looked at the trio.

“You’re never minded,” Ron shrugged. “So, who’s up for a game of Lake Sparring?”

“Oh, me!” Ginny brightened up.

“What’s that?” Hermione asked.

“It’s a game we play on broomsticks over the lake. You have to try to knock the other person off their broom. Without hurting them, of course,” Ron explained.

“Sounds like fun. I’m up for it,” Harry said.

“Me, too,” Hermione agreed.

******

After breakfast Hermione, Ginny, Harry, and Ron went upstairs to change into bathing suits. When they finished they went to outside and stopped at the broom shed on their way to the lake.

“Here Hermione, you can use my broom. I’ll use my dad’s, just don’t tell him,” Ron said and handed Hermione his broom.

“Thanks,” she said.

As they made their way to the lake, Hermione found herself studying Harry and Ron. Harry’s swim shorts were obviously Dudley’s first. They were dark green with white trim and drawstrings. The strings were tied tightly, but the shorts still hung at his hips. He was also wearing an old white T-shirt. It was tight on him and faded in places.

“Maybe I’ll take him school clothes shopping,” Hermione thought with a smile.

She looked to Ron. He was wearing red swim shorts with black trim and drawstrings. They were faded a little, and fit him properly. His T-shirt was black, which made his hair look brighter. With a skip of her heart, Hermione remembered how her hands were in his hair when she kissed him the day before.

They reached the lake and Ginny turned to them. “OK, Ron and I are going to demonstrate first,” she said. Hermione and Harry nodded.

Ron and Ginny mounted their brooms and took off over the lake. They went out and extended their hands to each other. Ron counted to three and they started to push against each other’s hands. Ron’s arms were longer so he was able to stretch Ginny’s arms over her head then tip her over. She fell into the water. Ron took her broom and brought it to the shore. Ginny swam to shore.

“Now, you two try,” Ron said to Harry and Hermione.

Harry and Hermione mounted their brooms and flew to the space Ron and Ginny were before. They extended their hands to each other. Harry laced his fingers with Hermione’s.

“1-2-3,” he grinned. When he said “three,” they started pushing each other. Harry raised their hands above her head and almost knocked Hermione backwards. She caught her balance and got closer to him. Hermione pushed him and lost her balance again. Her right knee hit Harry in a very sensitive place.

“Yeah! Go Hermione!” cheered Ginny from the shore.

“No! That’s cheating! Harry, you aren’t gunna take that, are you?” Ron yelled to them.

“I’m sorry, Harry!” Hermione squealed and covered her mouth. Harry had let go of her hands and was now bent over on his broom. She fought the temptation to laugh.

“Push him off his broom!” Ginny called, jumping up and down.

“Don’t push him! He already can’t breathe!” Ron argued.

“What does that have to do with breathing? They’re two completely different bodily organs,” Ginny said.

Hermione laughed and pushed poor Harry off his broom.

“Hey!” he yelled as he fell. He was shocked that she actually pushed
him.

“Yay! Hermione won!” Ginny cheered.

Hermione took Harry’s broom back to shore. When she landed she did a victory dance. Ginny joined her. Harry came to shore and interrupted their dance by shaking his wet hair and spraying Hermione with water. She screamed and ran from him.

Ron ran after her and caught her. He tackled her to the ground and pinned her on her back. Harry took off his drenched T-shirt and wrung it over Hermione. Water fell onto her face and chest. She pushed Ron off of her and chased Harry. He ran to the dock and then jumped into the water. Hermione stopped at the end of the dock to take off her shorts and tank top, exposing a pink and black halter top bikini. She slipped out of her sandals and jumped in after Harry. Ginny and Ron were close behind her.

Just as Hermione was about to dunk Harry, she felt something against her leg.

“Ron, Ginny, are there any living things in the lake?” she asked.

“Probably,” Ginny shrugged.

“Why?” Ron asked.

“I just felt something on my leg,” Hermione explained.

“Maybe it was your bathing suit,” Harry suggested.

“No, it was low on my leg,” she replied. Everyone looked down at the water. Hermione gasped and felt for her bathing suit. They were still in place.

“You scared me,” she said to Harry. He laughed, she tried to dunk him again but he swam out to where there was a low fog. Hermione followed him.

“Careful!” Ron called to them.

Hermione swam into the fog and was shocked at how thick it was. “Harry?” she said.

She felt something sliding up her leg. Panicking she screamed and pulled away. It followed her and continued up her leg. She screamed again and started to kick at the object. Then there were two, they held her waist. She put her hands in the water to hit whatever it was. Images of the dead bodies Harry told her he saw with Dumbledore flashed through her mind.

“Harry! Help!” she screamed.

She heard something surface behind her. Whatever was holding her leg let go. She slowly turned around. She saw Harry’s head just above the surface.

“It was you!?” she yelled at him.

“Yeah,” he laughed, proud of his joke.

“You scared me so bad. I thought it was... I thought I was going to die,” she said not laughing.

“I wouldn’t let you die. At least not here in Ron and Ginny’s backyard,” he grinned and stood on an underwater rock.

“Well, thanks,” she said and grinned, starting to relax now. She stood next to him on the rock. “How did you hold your breath that long?”

“Not easily. I guess I have big lungs,” he chuckled.

“I’m surprised Ron and Ginny didn’t come looking for us. I was screaming for help,” Hermione said after a few moments.

“They probably are in here. We’re far out though,” Harry replied.

“I only went in a little bit,” she said.

“We drifted,” he explained.

“Oh,” she said looking around. All she saw was water, fog, and Harry.

“Drift a little this way,” he smiled. She moved closer. “Much better,” he said.

Hermione pretended to slip on the rock and fell into Harry.

“Whoops,” she blushed as she stood back up, her face two inches from his.

“Whoops,” he repeated, quietly. He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her lightly. He pulled away and looked at her, waiting for a response.

Hermione bit her lip and tried not to frown. “I kissed Ron YESTERDAY, why am I now kissing HARRY? Something is wrong with me. I would have NEVER done something like this before. Oh man, Harry’s waiting for me to respond. But, how do I respond? What do I - wow, look at his wonderful green eyes... and the lips mine were just touching... he is so cute...” she thought. She moved closer, so that they were touching. Hermione kissed him and he kissed her back with a bit more force.

“Hermione? Harry?” they heard Ron calling.

“Where are you? Are you two alright?” Ginny’s voice said.

“Yeah, we’re OK. We’re over here!” Hermione said and stepped away from Harry. “Follow mt lead,” she added in a whisper to Harry. She started to cry and held onto Harry.

Ron and Ginny appeared through he fog. Obvious relief was expressed on Ron’s face.

“Oh my, Hermione. What happened?” Ginny asked.

“There was- there was something on me. It was on my legs and my waist and I couldn’t get it off!” she sobbed.

“What was it?” Ron asked stepping onto the rock.

“We didn’t see it,” she replied with a sniffle. “I screamed for Harry and he came after a couple of minutes. When he got there it went away. I thought it was going to kill me!”

“You’re alive. Everything is alright,” Harry said stroking her hair. He wondered why Hermione was lying. Lying was not something Hermione would do.

“Come here, ‘Mione,” Ron said. “We’ll get you back to shore.

She threw an apologetic look to Harry. He nodded in response. Ron took Hermione’s hand and swam with her to shore. Harry and Ginny followed. When they got to shore, they all sat on the towels thy brought.

“I’m hungry. I wonder if Mum’ll bring us sandwiches,” Ron said. A plate piled high with sandwiches appeared before them. “Sometimes that woman scares me,” Ron muttered taking a sandwich.

“I can’t believe I kissed Harry. He made me forget Ron even while I was thinking about Ron,” Hermione thought as she ate he sandwich.

After the boys were finished eating, they got up to play a round of Lake Sparring. She watched them go get their brooms. They both had similar bodies, except Ron was taller, they both walked the same, and they both climbed on their brooms the same. She voiced this to Ginny, who laughed.

“Maybe I’ll choose the one I’ll date by dating the winner of this match,” Hermione thought sarcastically.

They both fell, go figure.

******

AN: Thanks to everyone who reviewed! Over 1000 reads! It really makes me want to update as soon as possible!
So, now that we have an extremely confused Hermione, am I making any shippers upset? Sorry, if I am. I’m not meaning to make anyone mad, and I would greatly appreciate if you held the “Hermione should be with____ not ____!!!! I hate this story!” comments in. I don’t mind negative reviews, but I already know that some shippers may not like the way this is going. LOL.

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